Legality: Between Purposes and Functions

  • Diego M. Papayannis
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 100)


The chapter tries to show that Shapiro’s Planning Theory of Law contains in fact two theories, one internal and the other external. The internal one is based on conceptual analysis. In this regard, Shapiro claims that law can be best understood as a social plan to solve the moral problems of the community in certain circumstances. The logic of social planning makes law intelligible from the participant’s perspective. The external one is a kind of functional explanation, and the internal point of view plays no role under this approach. The idea is to identify what social needs law satisfies for the community that holds a legal system. The conclusion of the chapter is that even if one is not persuaded by Shapiro’s arguments against the previous positivist theories like Hart’s, there are good theoretical reasons to value the Planning Theory of Law: it provides a mixed understanding of legal practices; it captures at the same time two aspects of the social reality. On the one hand, it presents a view of law that accommodates most of the fundamental characteristics of legal systems. On the other hand, it offers a functional analysis of law that illuminates the valuable services law provides for us.


Legal System Corrective Justice Master Plan Internal Point Moral Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Legal Philosophy Research GroupUniversity of GironaGironaSpain

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