Law and Philosophy

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 685–698 | Cite as

The Purpose of Legal Theory: Some Problems with Joseph Raz’s View

Article

Abstract

This article seeks to clarify Joseph Raz’s contention that the task of the legal theorist is to explain the nature of law, rather than the concept of law. For Raz, to explain the nature of law is to explain the necessary properties that constitute it, those which if absent law would cease to be what it is. The first issue arises regarding his ambiguous usage of the expression “necessary property”. Concurrently Raz affirms that the legal theorist has the following tasks: (a) explain the essential properties of that which the concept of law refers to, which exists independently from any concept of law; (b) explain the essential properties of law given our concept of law. After trying to dissolve the ambiguity of Raz’s argument, I conclude that based on his methodological commitments the only possible task for a legal philosopher would be conceptual analysis, understood as the task of explaining our concept of law.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baghramian, M., Relativism (London: Routledge, 2004).Google Scholar
  2. Bix, B., ‘Raz on Necessity’, Law and Philosophy 22 (2003): 609–633.Google Scholar
  3. Bulygin, E., ‘Raz y la teoría del derecho. Comentarios sobre: ‘¿Puede haber una teoría del derecho’ de Joseph Raz’, trad. H. Bouvier, in H. Bouvier, P. Gaido, R. Sánchez Brigido (eds.), Una discusión sobre teoría del derecho: Joseph Raz, Robert Alexy, Eugenio Bulygin (Madrid: Marcial Pons, 2007), pp. 99–110.Google Scholar
  4. Dickson, J., ‘Methodology in Jurisprudence, A Critical Survey’, Legal Theory 10 (2004): 117–156.Google Scholar
  5. Garzón Valdés, E., Derecho y la naturaleza de las cosas, Análisis de una nueva versión del derecho natural en el pensamiento jurídico alemán contemporáneo, tomo I (Córdoba: Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, 1970).Google Scholar
  6. Kripke, S., ‘Identity and Necessity’, in A.P. Martinich and D. Sosa (eds.), Analytic Philosophy: An Anthology (London: Blackwell, 2001), pp. 72–89.Google Scholar
  7. Nino, C., Introducción a análisis del derecho (Buenos Aires: Astrea, 1987).Google Scholar
  8. Putnam, H., ‘Meaning and Reference’, in A.P. Martinich and D. Sosa (eds.), Analytic Philosophy: An Anthology (London: Blackwell, 2001), pp. 90–96.Google Scholar
  9. Raz, J., ‘Teoría y conceptos: replica a Alexy y Bulygin’, trad. R. Sánchez Brigido, in H. Bouvier, P. Gaido, R. Sánchez Brigido (eds.), Una discusión sobre teoría del derecho: Joseph Raz, Robert Alexy, Eugenio Bulygin (Madrid: Marcial Pons, 2007), pp. 111–120. An English version of it here: http://sites.google.com/site/josephnraz/theory%26concepts.
  10. Raz, J., ‘The Problem of Authority: Revisiting the Service Conception’, Minnesota Law Review 90 (2006): 1003–1044.Google Scholar
  11. Raz, J., ‘Can there be a Theory of Law’, in M.P. Golding and W.A. Edmunson (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory (London: Blackwell, 2004), pp. 324–342.Google Scholar
  12. Raz, J., ‘Two Views of the Nature of the Theory of Law: A Partial Comparison’, Legal Theory 4 (1998): 249–282.Google Scholar
  13. Raz, J., ‘On the Nature of Law’, Archiv für Recht und Sozial Philosophie 82 (1996): 1–25.Google Scholar
  14. Raz, J., The Morality of Freedom (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986).Google Scholar
  15. Raz, J., ‘Why Interpret’, Ratio Juris 9 (1996): 349–363.Google Scholar
  16. Raz, J., ‘The Relevance of Coherence’, in J. Raz (ed.), Ethics in the Public Domain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 261–303.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SADAF (Argentine Society of Philosophical Analysis)Cordoba University Law School (Argentina)CórdobaArgentina

Personalised recommendations