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Law in the Age of Pluralism$
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Andrei Marmor

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195338478

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195338478.001.0001

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Legal Positivism: Still Descriptive and Morally Neutral

Legal Positivism: Still Descriptive and Morally Neutral

(p.125) CHAPTER 5 Legal Positivism: Still Descriptive and Morally Neutral
Law in the Age of Pluralism

Andrei Marmor (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that legal positivism is best understood as a descriptive, morally neutral, theory about the nature of law, along the lines suggested by H. L. A. Hart. It distinguishes among five possible views about the relationship between normative claims and legal positivism, arguing that some of them are not at odds with Hart's thesis about the nature of jurisprudence, while the others are wrong, both as expositions of legal positivism or as critiques of it. Legal positivism does not necessarily purport to justify any aspect of its subject matter, nor is it committed to any particular moral or political evaluations; and this is precisely as it should be.

Keywords:   H. L. A. Hart, nature of law, legal theory, jurisprudence

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