A Critique of Alexy's Claim To Correctness

10 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2020 Last revised: 6 Oct 2020

See all articles by Brian Bix

Brian Bix

University of Minnesota Law School

Date Written: June 2020


This article offers an overview of the difficulties in Robert Alexy’s idea of law’s “claim to correctness.” The inquiry takes us deep into the nature of simple communication, back out to what it means to have a theory about the nature of law, and also in the direction of wondering about the interaction of legal theory and practical reasoning—reasoning about how we should best act. The article offers reasons to question whether law in fact makes claims, at least in any straightforward sense. Even if one brackets that matter, there are reasons to raise doubts about what is in fact implicit in the act of lawmaking. At one level, an act of lawmaking does implicitly assert the authority to act in that way. Whether it also implies that the content of the action is morally good, or at least not clearly morally bad, is, at a minimum, a harder question.

Suggested Citation

Bix, Brian, A Critique of Alexy's Claim To Correctness (June 2020). Ratio Juris, Vol. 33, Issue 2, pp. 124-133, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3703060 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/raju.12276

Brian Bix (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
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612-625-2011 (Fax)

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