Kelsen's concept of the authority of law

Law and Philosophy 19 (2):173-199 (2000)
According to Kelsen, law is a sense content and law has authority. The combination of these two claims appears puzzling. How is it possible for a sense content to have authority? Kelsen's notion of `basic norm' seems to provide an answer to this question. Such an answer, however, simply leads to a new formulation of the question itself. How is a basic norm possible? Kelsen's multiple and tentative answers to this question turn out to be untenable. A different starting point might be provided by Kelsen's notion of `social power'. On closer scrutiny, however, an empowerment account of Kelsen's concept of the authority of law proves unsatisfactory. Thus, our review of some candidate models for a Kelsenian explication of the authority of law shows that none of them is a viable hypothesis. Kelsen's concept of the authority of law is, at bottom, unintelligible.
Keywords Law   Logic   Philosophy of Law   Law Theory/Law Philosophy   Political Science   Social Issues
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/3505164
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,831
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

21 ( #134,685 of 1,724,748 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #349,121 of 1,724,748 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.