An Axiomatic Theory of Law

Res Publica 17 (4):343-354 (2011)
This paper presents in outline Luigi Ferrajoli’s axiomatic and general theory of law, as developed in his lifelong work Principia Iuris . The first section focuses on the three main aspects of the theory: the methodological, the theoretical and the pragmatic, which respectively represent the theory’s syntax, semantics and its pragmatics. Ferrajoli identifies three deontic gaps of norms: firstly, the one between their validity and efficacy ; secondly, the one between their justice and validity ; and finally, and most importantly, the one between validity and existence (i.e. normative force). The presence of such gaps is, according to Ferrajoli, the extraordinary innovation that entrenched constitutions have brought into modern legal systems, by establishing norms that are superior to statutes and case law. In this sense, all normative phenomena (except for the constitution itself) can be conceived both as norms and as facts. In the second section the role of juridical science is briefly discussed
Keywords Axiomatisation  General theory of law  Deontic gap  ‘Unlawful law’  Constitutionalism  Juridical reason
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11158-011-9168-9
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,422
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
Ronald M. Dworkin (1988). Law's Empire. Harvard University Press.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

9 ( #439,581 of 1,924,954 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #418,001 of 1,924,954 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.