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Hart's and Kelsen's Concepts of Normativity Contrasted

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Hart's and Kelsen's respective outlooks on the concept of normativity not only differ by the way they explain this concept but also, more importantly, in what they seek to achieve when endeavouring to account for the normative dimension of law. By examining Hart's and Kelsen's models in the light of Korsgaard's understanding of the “normativity problem,” my aim is to emphasise not only their contrasted perspectives, but also the common limit they impose on their theories by dismissing as inappropriate any question regarding the emergence of legal normativity. On the basis of my previous arguments, I shall explain why I deem Raz's analysis of the contrast between Hart's and Kelsen's conceptions of normativity to be misleading.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Harvard University 34 Concord Avenue Cambridge, Mass., 02138 USA, Email:

Publication date: December 1, 2004


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