Authors
Mark Greenberg
University of California, Los Angeles
Abstract
Most legal theorists, including almost all positivists and many others, take for granted or are implicitly committed to an assumption that is not an official part of positivism. The assumption is that the content of the law is determined by the contents of legally authoritative pronouncements. I call it the Pronouncement View (PV, for short). The kind of determination at issue here is constitutive, not epistemic. That is, PV concerns what makes the content of the law what it is, not how we ascertain the content of the law. PV is more of an organizing principle or core idea, than a precise doctrine. I have introduced PV in an unqualified form, but there are a variety of ways in which its claim could be moderated. For example, a qualified version of PV could hold that the contents of legally authoritative pronouncements play a central or predominant role in determining the content of the law. The debate between positivists and anti-positivists is often framed in a way that takes PV for granted. For example, one typical characterization takes the debate to concern whether laws must pass a moral test in order to be valid. The use of “laws” here betrays an assumption that the starting point is legally authoritative pronouncements. Given this starting point, if morality is relevant it will have to be as a way of screening the content of authoritative pronouncements. I suggest that the issue of whether a PV-based view of law is correct is more fundamental than the issue that divides legal positivists and anti-positivists, at least as the latter issue is commonly understood. For example, one common understanding of the latter issue is that positivists claim, and anti-positivists deny, that the criteria of legal validity – the criteria that determine whether a norm is legally valid – need not include moral facts. As will become clear, however, the picture of law presupposed by this way of framing the debate – according to which candidate norms qualify as legal norms by satisfying criteria of validity – is closely associated with PV and need not be accepted by non-PV-based views of law. PV leads to a characteristic set of concerns and problems, and yields a distinctive way of thinking about how law is supposed to operate. In this paper, I will offer an alternative to PV, which I call the Dependence View (DV, for short). I begin to develop the picture of law that it yields. The discussion throughout is exploratory and tentative. The goal is to sketch the alternative picture and identify problems and possible ways of developing it, not to refute the picture associated with PV.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,118
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

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
22 ( #441,310 of 2,324,591 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #679,828 of 2,324,591 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes