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Legal theorists in this century have often perceived a need for a theory capable of occupying a stable middle ground between natural law theory and nineteenth-century legal positivism. The prolific German-American legal philosopher, Hans Kelsen, was perhaps not the first to feel the need for such a theory, but he was certainly among the first to attempt to construct one. n1 Although Kelsen's own efforts failed, in many ways they defined the ambitions of twentieth-century legal theory and inspired others to take up the challenge. In order to understand the nature of the challenge, which confronts us still today, it is helpful to examine central difficulties with Kelsen's own Pure Theory of Law.
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