Law and Philosophy 6 (2):227-247 (1987)

In this paper I argue for three theses. First, most philosophical analyses of the problem of normative conflict, being based on the impossibility-of-joint-compliance test for conflict, are inadequate. Second, expanding on suggestions made by H. L. A. Hart and Stephen Munzer, I develop an understanding of normative conflict which is not tied to the concept of obedience. Such an understanding of normative conflict is expressly functional: normative conflicts arise when one norm interferes with the intended functioning of another. Third, working from a functional concept of normative conflict, I develop a taxonomical classification scheme for the phenomenon of normative conflict. Normative conflict is the genus within which there are three species: normative contradiction, normative collision, and normative competition. Department of Philosophy, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701, U.S.A
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DOI 10.1007/BF00145430
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