Objectivity in law

Philosophy Compass 5 (3):240-249 (2010)
In the first part of this paper, I discuss the different kinds of objectivity; general and legal objectivity more specifically. In the second part, I endeavour to explain the two main views that have been advanced to answer four core questions on legal objectivity. The first is whether moral and legal values are objective. Second, what is the nature of the relationship between legal and moral values? The third is whether, due to the specific nature of law, we should consider a domainspecific conception of objectivity for legal values. The fourth concerns whether there is a correspondence between legal values and legal facts. What is the explanation of the platitudes about the nature of law such as that law is reasongiving, normative or authoritative in character? In other words, do legal facts have a place in our 'disenchanted' or naturalistic (in the scientific sense) understanding of the world. In the final section of this paper, I evaluate naturalism and nonnaturalism in law and consider the future of the debate and its relevance for understanding the connection between law, morality and legal normativity.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2010.00283.x
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Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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