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Philosophy of Law$
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Andrei Marmor

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691141671

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691141671.001.0001

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A Pure Theory of Law?

A Pure Theory of Law?

(p.12) Chapter One A Pure Theory of Law?
Philosophy of Law

Andrei Marmor

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses Hans Kelsen's influential attempt to present a “pure” theory of law, and the reasons for its failure. It tries to show that Kelsen's pure theory of law is the most striking—and in many ways, still the most interesting—defense of a complete detachment view, both in method and substance. It argues that the main reason for the failure of this project is that it identified the detachment view with antireductionism. Kelsen thought that a theory about the nature of law should avoid any reduction of legal facts to facts of any other type, either social or moral.

Keywords:   Hans Kelsen, theory of law, legal philosophy, detachment view, antireductionism, nature of law

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