On the Superiority of Divine Legislation Theory to Divine Command Theory

Faith and Philosophy (forthcoming)
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The view that human law can be analyzed in terms of commands was subjected to devastating criticism by H. L. A. Hart in his 1961 The Concept of Law. Two objections that Hart levels against the command theory of law also make serious trouble for divine command theory. Divine command theorists would do well to jettison command as the central concept of their moral theory and, following Hart’s lead, instead appeal to the concept of a rule. Such a successor view—divine legislation theory—has the attractions of divine command theory without the unacceptable limitations of command theories that Hart identifies.



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Mark C. Murphy
Georgetown University

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