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In Defense of Legal PositivismLaw Without Trimmings$
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Matthew H. Kramer

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199264834

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199264834.001.0001

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Requirements, Reasons, and Raz: Legal Positivism and Legal Duties

Requirements, Reasons, and Raz: Legal Positivism and Legal Duties

(p.78) 4 Requirements, Reasons, and Raz: Legal Positivism and Legal Duties
In Defense of Legal Positivism


Oxford University Press

Although Joseph Raz is in most respects a legal positivist, he shares with some natural-law theorists the view that every legal system — by virtue of its status as a legal system — claims to be possessed of morally binding authority. This chapter undertakes a critique of Raz’s view, by maintaining that perfectly credible legal systems can exist without explicitly or implicitly claiming to be possessed of any morally binding authority.

Keywords:   Joseph Raz, legal positivism, authority, legitimacy, natural law, morality, Philip Soper

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