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Rights, Culture and the LawThemes from the Legal and Political Philosophy of Joseph Raz$
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Lukas H. Meyer, Stanley L. Paulson, and Thomas W. Pogge

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248254

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248254.001.0001

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The Nature of Arguments about the Nature of Law

The Nature of Arguments about the Nature of Law

(p.3) 1 The Nature of Arguments about the Nature of Law
Rights, Culture and the Law


Oxford University Press

Law is a highly complex entity. This is the reason why, as Joseph Raz puts it, the list of the essential properties of law is indefinite. This chapter identifies the main problems concerning the nature of law and then concentrates on certain aspects of these problems. Three problems that define the problem of the nature of law can be identified. The first problem addresses the question: In what kind of entities does the law consist, and how are these entities connected such that they form the overarching entity we call ‘law’? The second problem concerns the social reality of law, that is, the real or factual dimension of law. The third problem concerns the correctness or legitimacy of law. Here the main question is the relationship between law and morality. The problem of the relationship between law and coercion or force is also discussed, along with argument from coercion, correctness, and extreme injustice.

Keywords:   legal philosophy, nature of law, law, legitimacy, morality, social reality, Joseph Raz, coercion, correctness, extreme injustice

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