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Naturalizing JurisprudenceEssays on American Legal Realism and Naturalism in Legal Philosophy$
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Brian Leiter

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199206490

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206490.001.0001

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Legal Realism, Hard Positivism, and the Limits of Conceptual Analysis *

Legal Realism, Hard Positivism, and the Limits of Conceptual Analysis *

(p.121) 4 Legal Realism, Hard Positivism, and the Limits of Conceptual Analysis*
Naturalizing Jurisprudence


Oxford University Press

The Realist arguments for the indeterminacy of legal reasoning depend on a ‘Hard Positivist’ (or Razian) conception of legal validity (according to which the criteria of validity in any legal system must themselves be source-based). This chapter surveys the traditional ‘conceptual’ arguments for and against the Razian theory of law, generally defending the Razian position. It concludes, however, by raising doubts about this whole way of proceeding in jurisprudence, suggesting, with a nod to Quine, that perhaps even questions about the nature of law itself might be settled by the results of the empirical sciences.

Keywords:   Razian theory of law, Realism, legal reasoning, jurisprudence

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