Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

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| Editors: Mortimer Sellers, Stephan Kirste

Causality and Imputation (Kelsen)

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6730-0_220-1


Imputation is a normative category analogical to causality. It was conceived among others by Hans Kelsen, who made it the central category in his pure theory of law (Paulson 1996). Kelsen, influenced by Immanuel Kant, regarded imputation as a promising foundation for legal science. It serves as the element which distinguishes legal science from natural (explicative) types of science governed by the principle of causality. Kelsen’s focus on imputation differs from previous attempts to describe it, to a certain degree: instead of asking about the rules which allow legally or morally relevant events to be differentiated from irrelevant ones, Kelsen analyzes:
  1. 1.

    The function of imputation in the context of legal science and law itself, based on analogy and contrast with causality. By taking this approach, he can identify the difference between legal and natural science and legal and social phenomena.

  2. 2.

    The distinct formal structure of imputation in law. This allows him to...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of LodzLodzPoland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Miodrag Jovanovic
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Theory, Sociology and Philosophy of LawUniversity of Belgrade, Faculty of LawBelgradeSerbia