Natural Law and the Phenomenological Given

  • Marta AlbertEmail author
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 22)


It is the aim of this essay to re-think the relationship between the phenomenological approach to philosophy of law and the natural law tradition. The hypothesis adopted as a starting point is that phenomenological legal philosophy is, at least, a non-positivistic philosophy of law, as far as it represents a metaempirical theory of law, and also involves an ethical objectivism incompatible with legal positivism.

The research is focused on Adolf Reinach’s theory of legal objects. The exposition highlights the social character of the acts in which legal objects come into being. It is centered on promising, as an archetype of social a priori acts.

The contribution of Reinach’s a priori science of law to natural law tradition can be summed up in three points: first, the gap between is and ought can be solved by the recovery of the idea of an ontological necessity; second, a “reine Rechtslehre” (a “pure theory of law”, in Kelsen’s words) can be founded on a iusnaturalistic basis and understood as a rigorous science (synthetic and a priori); finally, a philosophy of illocutionary acts according to the idea of an ontological necessity can be found in Reinach’s thought.


Human Nature Legal Regime Phenomenological Research Legal Philosophy Legal Positivism 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Filosofía del DerechoUniversidad Rey Juan CarlosMadridSpain

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