Law, Coercive Enforcement, and Practical Reason

22 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2017

See all articles by Kenneth Einar Himma

Kenneth Einar Himma

University of Washington - School of Law

Date Written: November 14, 2017

Abstract

I argue that, from the standpoint of practical rationality, it is implausible to think that it is a conceptual truth that law provides reasons to obey a legal norm simply in virtue of its status as law, unless authorized coercive enforcement mechanisms are a conceptually necessary feature of a legal system. In the absence of such mechanisms, law as such is not plausibly characterized as reasonably contrived to provide reasons for action. Accordingly, the argument is intended to show that it is a conceptually necessary feature of law that a legal system authorize coercive enforcement mechanisms for some violations of law.

Keywords: law, enforcement, normativity, conceptual jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

Himma, Kenneth Einar, Law, Coercive Enforcement, and Practical Reason (November 14, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3071308 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3071308

Kenneth Einar Himma (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William Gates Hall
Seattle, WA 98195-3020
United States

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