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The Functions of Law - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Functions of Law

Kenneth M. Ehrenberg


This book seeks to contribute to a legal positivist picture of law by defending two metaphysical claims about law and investigating their methodological implications. One claim is that the law is a kind of artifact, a thoroughgoing human creation for performing certain tasks or accomplishing certain goals. That is, artifacts are generally understood in terms of their functions. When discussing artifacts, the notion of function need not be as mysterious or problematic as might be the case with biological functions. The other claim is that the law is an institution, a specific kind of artifact t ... More

Keywords: jurisprudential methodology, function, artifact, institution, ontology of law, legal positivism, legal validity, legal authority, legal normativity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199677474
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677474.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kenneth M. Ehrenberg, author
Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Alabama