This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of the concept of legal validity and the three main schools of thought have emerged in response to the general questions concerning the conditions of legal validity. It then sets out the two main themes that inform the main argument of this book: the relations between the factual and the normative and between substance and method. The book shows that the debates about the possibility of detachment in both substance and method, and the subtle relations between them, have informed a great deal of the theorizing in legal philosophy during the last century. It shows that a substantial part of these debates centers on the question of the possibility of reduction. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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