Hart's Methodological Positivism: Stephen R. Perry

Legal Theory 4 (4):427-467 (1998)
  Copy   BIBTEX


To understand H.L.A. Hart's general theory of law, it is helpful to distinguish between substantive and methodological legal positivism. Substantive legal positivism is the view that there is no necessary connection between morality and the content of law. Methodological legal positivism is the view that legal theory can and should offer a normatively neutral description of a particular social phenomenon, namely law. Methodological positivism holds, we might say, not that there is no necessary connection between morality and law, but rather that there is no connection, necessary or otherwise, between morality and legal theory. The respective claims of substantive and methodological positivism are, at least on the surface, logically independent. Hobbes and Bentham employed normative methodologies to defend versions of substantive positivism, and in modern times Michael Moore has developed what can be regarded as a variant of methodological positivism to defend a theory of natural law.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,685

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Legal positivism: Still descriptive and morally neutral.Andrei Marmor - 2006 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 26 (4):683-704.
Legal reasoning and legal theory revisited.Fernando Atria - 1999 - Law and Philosophy 18 (5):537-577.
Positivism Before Hart.Fred Schauer - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 24 (2):455-471.
Between natural law and legal positivism: Dworkin and Hegel on legal theory.Thom Brooks - 2007 - Georgia State University Law Review 23 (3):513-60.
The Anarchist Official: A Problem for Legal Positivism.Kenneth M. Ehrenberg - 2011 - Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 36:89-112.
Human Rights and the Debate on Legal Positivism.Delamar José Volpato Dutra - 2015 - Dialogue and Universalism 25 (1):264-273.
Legal Reasoning and Legal Theory Revisited.Fernando Atria - 1999 - Law and Philosophy 18 (5):537-577.
The Argument From Injustice: A Reply to Legal Positivism.Robert Alexy - 2002 - Oxford ;: Oxford University Press UK.
Inclusive legal positivism.Wilfrid J. Waluchow - 1994 - New York: Oxford University Press.


Added to PP

151 (#113,448)

6 months
13 (#116,718)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Stephen R. Perry
University of Pennsylvania

References found in this work

Authority, Law and Morality.Joseph Raz - 1985 - The Monist 68 (3):295-324.

Add more references