One of the leading legal philosophers of this century, Kelsen published this short treatise in 1934, when the neo-Kantian influence on his work was at its zenith. An earlier, "constructivist" phase had been displaced by his effort to provide something approximating a neo-Kantian foundation for his theory. If this second phase represents the Pure Theory of Law in its most characteristic form, then the present treatise may well be its central text. And of Kelsen's many statements of the Pure Theory, (...) this one is surely the most accessible. Topics covered include the legal norm and Kelsen's normativity thesis, law and morality, the role of ideology, the concept of the legal person, legal interpretation, the identity of law and state, and the theory of international law. Among the appendices is an annotated bibliography of secondary literature on Kelsen. (shrink)
Hans Kelsen is considered by many to be the foremost legal thinker of the twentieth century. During the last decade of his life he was working on what he called a general theory of norms. Published posthumously in 1979 as Allgemeine Theorie der Normen, the book is here translated for the first time into English. Kelsen develops his "pure theory of law" into a "general theory of norms", and analyzes the applicability of logic to norms to offer an original and (...) extreme position which some have called "normative irrationalism". Examining the views of over 200 philosophers and legal theorists on law, morality, and logic, and revising several of his own earlier positions, Kelsen's final work is a mandatory resource for legal and moral philosophers. (shrink)
In Section I, Kelsen introduces the legal order as an aggregate of norms and considers the question of the basis of the validity of a norm. He then turns, in Section II, to a series of questions that arise in connection with “unconstitutional” statutes. Finally, in Section III, Kelsen defends at length a monistic interpretation of the relation between the international and domestic legal orders. (Translator's summary.).
What is justice? -- The idea of justice in the Holy Scriptures -- Platonic justice -- Aristotle's doctrine of justice -- The natural-law doctrine before the tribunal of science -- A "dynamic" theory of natural law -- Absolutism and relativism in philosophy and politics -- Value judgments in the science of law -- The law as a specific social technique -- Why should the law be obeyed? -- The pure theory of the law and analytical jurisprudence -- Law, state, and (...) justice in the pure theory of law -- Causality and retribution -- Causality and imputation -- Science and politics. (shrink)
Hans Kelsen is considered to be one of the foremost legal theorists and philosophers of the twentieth century. His writing made an important contribution to many areas, especially those of legal theory and international law. Over a number of decades, he developed an important legal theory which found its first complete exposition in Reine Rechtslehre, or Pure Theory of Law, the first edition of which was published in Vienna in 1934. This is the first English translation of that work. It (...) covers such topics as law and morality, the legal system and its hierarchical structure, the identity of law and state, and international law. (shrink)