22 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2003
This article tries to present the jurisprudential school of thought, legal positivism, within a larger context than is usual in contemporary English-language discussions of that approach: (1) showing the intellectual and political contexts in which the movement began; (2) emphasizing the variety of theories that fit under that label (e.g., how the Kelsenian tradition varies significantly from the Hartian tradition); and (3) discussing how the future development of legal positivism will depend on its discussion of wider theoretical issues (e.g., the proper approach to social theory, and the use of conceptual analysis in philosophy). The article also summarizes the main criticisms of legal positivism, and gives an overview of the internal debate of inclusive legal positivism versus exclusive legal positivism.
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