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The Ant TrapRebuilding the Foundations of the Social Sciences$
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Brian Epstein

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199381104

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199381104.001.0001

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Case Study

Case Study

Laws as Frame Principles

(p.88) 7 Case Study
The Ant Trap

Brian Epstein

Oxford University Press

This chapter uses theories of law and legality to illuminate the grounding−anchoring model of the social world. Understanding laws to be frame principles helps clarify both the model and also the nature of law. This chapter mostly discusses H. L. A. Hart’s theory of law, showing how the theory fits the grounding−anchoring model, and how it illustrates the way frames can be “nested” within other frames. There are two different kinds of laws according to Hart’s theory—“primary rules” and “secondary rules.” Each of these can be understood as frame principles, with different kinds of anchors. The grounding−anchoring model sheds light on rules of recognition, the difference between the law and the law code, and also helps clarify different theories of the “sources” of the law. For instance, it clarifies positions in the debates on positivism and natural law theory, and also in the debate between Hart and Dworkin.

Keywords:   law, legality, Hart, Dworkin, positivism, natural law, primary rule, secondary rule, recognition

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