Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Is The Concept of Law a Good Book? Part 6: Distortion as the Price of Uniformity

Probably Hart’s best-known argument from the opening chapters of his book is directed at the claim that all laws are commands. It is nowadays often said that Hart dealt a death blow to command theories of law. For those who think of jurisprudence as a kind of progressive science of accumulated knowledge, here was a giant leap forward, a major correction of errors of committed by Bentham, Austin, and Kelsen.

Except that it wasn’t.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

A Surprising Friend for Jurisprudential Naturalism

A bit of a break from The Concept of Law. (The best is yet to come.) In the meantime, a couple of paragraphs from Lon Fuller’s, Legal Fictions (1967). The book is largely a reprint of a three-part article published in 1930–31. The quote below is from the short preface added in 1967. In it he anticipated Brian Leiter’s invocation of Quine’s “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” against conceptual jurisprudence by several decades.