Title

Legal Objectivity and the Illusion of Legal Principles

Authors

Larry Alexander

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2008

Abstract

In this essay I approach the topic of legal objectivity by analyzing law's possible relationships with morality, rules, standards, and principles. I argue that law's function is to settle moral controversies, which renders problematic law's incorporation of morality and points to the moral desirability of determinate rules, even though such rules will conflict with morality. I argue that legal rules can be objective. On the other hand, I deny that there are any norms that can play the role that so-called "legal principles" are said to play, whether in Dworkin's account of them or in Alexy's.

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