Grounding-based formulations of legal positivism

Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3283-3302 (2020)
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Abstract

The goal of this paper is to provide an accurate grounding-based formulation of positivism in the philosophy of law. I start off by discussing some simple formulations, based on the ideas that social facts are always either full or partial grounds of legal facts. I then raise a number of objections against these definitions: the full grounding proposal rules out possibilities that are compatible with positivism; the partial grounding proposal fails, on its own, to vindicate the distinctive role that is played by social facts within positivist accounts of law. Then, I present a more adequate and insightful formulation capable of solving their problems, which crucially relies on a robust notion of a social enabler. Finally, I model inclusive and exclusive positivism on the resulting template, and set out the advantages of the ground-enablers proposal.

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Samuele Chilovi
Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Citations of this work

Social Ontology.Brian Epstein - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
On the (in)significance of Hume’s Law.Samuele Chilovi & Daniel Wodak - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):633-653.
The Explanatory Demands of Grounding in Law.Samuele Chilovi & George Pavlakos - 2022 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (4):900-933.

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References found in this work

The concept of law.Hla Hart - 1961 - New York: Oxford University Press.
On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Ethics without principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Taking rights seriously.Ronald Dworkin (ed.) - 1977 - London: Duckworth.
No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.

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