Fused Modality or Confused Modality?

7 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2004


According to Svein Eng there are propositions concerning the law which are descriptive as well as normative, but cannot be separated into one descriptive and one normative proposition. Eng calls these propositions "fused" ("sammensmeltede"). In Eng's theory a proposition with "fused modality" is partly descriptive and partly normative, but cannot be classified as a separable combination of a claim about what the law "is" and a claim about what the law "ought to be." In a "fused" proposition modality is a question of "degree." The purpose of this article is to show why Eng's theory should be rejected. The introduction of "fused modality" adds nothing of value to legal theory. Eng claims to have discovered a class of propositions not previously accounted for, but this is not the case. The lawyer Eng talks about as making a "fused" proposition is simply a lawyer logically confused.

Suggested Citation

Dahlman, Christian, Fused Modality or Confused Modality?. Ratio Juris, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 80-86, March 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=548095

Christian Dahlman (Contact Author)

Lund University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Lilla Gråbrödersgatan 4
Lund, 222 22

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