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Normativity and Objectivity in Law

25 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2006  

Dennis Patterson

European University Institute; Rutgers University School of Law, Camden; Swansea University School of Law; European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW)


This paper takes up the question whether legal judgments and claims can be objective. Because law is best understood as an argumentative practice, I maintain that normativity in law arises from the employment of an identifiable grammar of legal argument wherein assertions and claims about the state of the law are appraised.

Keywords: jurisprudence, Wittgenstein, law, legal theory

Suggested Citation

Patterson, Dennis, Normativity and Objectivity in Law. William & Mary Law Review, Vol. 43, p. 325, 2001. Available at SSRN:

Dennis Patterson (Contact Author)

European University Institute ( email )

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Rutgers University School of Law, Camden ( email )

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Swansea University School of Law

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European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )

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