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Norm and Nature : The Movements of Legal Thought - Roger A. Shiner

Norm and Nature

The Movements of Legal Thought


Published: 24th September 1992
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Norm and Nature deals with the traditional conflict in legal philosophy between positivistic and anti-positivistic theories of law. It examines the conflict with respect to seven central issues in legal philosophy - law as a reason for action, law and authority, the internal point of view to law, the acceptance of law, discretion and principle, interpretation and semantics, and law and the common good.
It has three central theses. First, the opposition to positivism is based on acceptance of, rather than rejection of, claims made by positivism. Second, the conflict between positivism and anti-positivism is irresolvable. Finally, that the understanding of why this is so is the key to understanding the nature of law. Tension between formal and substantive considerations comprises the essence of law. The central theses presuppose that anti-positivism or natural law theory is defensible as an account of the nature of law. More than half of the book, therefore, is a criticism of the prevailing orthodoxy of legal positivism and a defence of an anti-positivist view. Norm and Nature is therefore important not only for the originality of its central theses, but also for its critique of positivism and for the thoroughness of its examination of contemporary legal thought.

`fascinating book' American Political Science Review 'His fascinating book, Norm and Nature: The Movements of Legal Thought, argues that there is deep significance to a feeling that every undergraduate must have had in first considering the modern classics of legal theory: that there is something good to be said on each side ... There is much that is worth considering here and much of value in his deft reconstruction of the arguments of the various sides ... most challenging for present purposes is his metajurisprudential thesis: Is it sound?' Leslie Green, York University, Toronto, American Political Science Review, Vol. 88, No. 1, March 1994 `Norm and Nature makes a substantial and valuable contribution to contemporary theorizing about the nature of law. It exposes new dimensions of the debates between positivists and their opponents and explores these with some precision, often in an absorbing and provocative way ... there is a wealth of careful and subtle reasoning in this book which deserves attention from legal theorists simply on its own merits, and which will be of special interest to positivists because it raises doubts about how comprehensive and illuminating a positivist account of law can be.' Canadian Philosophical Reviews `For a brilliant presentation and appraisal of all moves in this debate, and of the underlying movements in thought, look no further than Roger Shiner's Norm and Nature, a quite splendid book ... scholarly acumen, practical insight, lucid style, and pointed wit.' Neil MacCormick, Times Literary Supplement

Clarendon Law Seriesp. I
Clarendon Law Seriesp. II
Acknowledgementsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Simple Positivismp. 17
Simple Positivismp. 19
Sophisticated Positivismp. 41
Sophisticated Positivismp. 43
Anti-Positivismp. 101
Reasons for Actionp. 103
Law and Authorityp. 122
The Point of View of Legal Theoryp. 137
The Acceptance of Lawp. 160
Principle and Discretionp. 184
Interpretation and Semanticsp. 207
Law and the Common Goodp. 238
Anti-Positivism's Conclusionsp. 261
Beyond Positivism An Anti-Positivismp. 271
The Movements of Legal Thoughtp. 273
Compatibilismp. 284
The Concept of Lawp. 308
Selected Bibliographyp. 327
Indexp. 337
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198257196
ISBN-10: 0198257198
Series: Clarendon Law
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 362
Published: 24th September 1992
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.9 x 14.5  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.5