The Normative Jinx
Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
18 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2017
Date Written: May 4, 2017
In this article I present and defend the claim that law and morality cannot be considered to be valid simultaneously. This claim is the result of the combination of two theses, normative monism and legal/moral incompatibilism. The first thesis maintains that we can only make sense of norms if we consider them to be part of one normative system. The second thesis claims that law and morality cannot form part of one normative system. The result of the combination of both theses produces what I call the normative jinx: if we take law to be valid, then there is no moral point of view from which to assess the law; if we consider morality to be valid, there cannot possibly be valid law that could be the object of moral assessment.
Keywords: Kelsen, monism, positivism
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