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On “Coherence” and “Law”: An Analysis of Different Models

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The aim of this paper is to compare different conceptions of the role of (normative) coherence in the legal field. More precisely, it aims to deepen Neil MacCormick's theory of legal reasoning, in which coherence is essentially considered an interpretative tool, and Ronald Dworkin's legal theory, in which coherence occupies a more crucial place. The main results of this paper can be summarized in two points. A) For Dworkin, coherence is not just an interpretative standard but constitutes the hard core of his theory of law. B) As a consequence of A, Dworkin's reflections on coherence (as an interpretative standard) cannot be separated from his theory of law grounded on the concept of integrity.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Palermo, Department of Politics, Law and Society “Gaetano Mosca”, Piazza Bologni 8, I-90134 Palermo, Italy.

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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