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Prinzipien als Normen mit zwei Geltungsebenen: Zur Unterscheidung von Regeln und Prinzipien

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The distinction between rules and principles is highly controversial. This is due to its significant impact on almost every fundamental philosophy of law and legal theory issue, for instance, the application of legal norms, the concept of the legal system, the relation between law and morality, or the structure of basic rights. The actual debate is based on three main theses: the "strong separation" thesis, the "weak separation" thesis and the "conformity" thesis. The author concentrates on the development of the "strong separation" thesis, first elaborated by Josef Esser, then developed by Ronald Dworkin and lately worked out by Robert Alexy. The several objections raised to Alexy's thesis on principles as optimization commands will be discussed in detail. The author comes finally to his own formal description of principles as norms, with both an abstract and a concrete validity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, edited by authorisation of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR), is an international, peer-reviewed journal, first published in 1907. It features original articles on philosophical research on legal and social questions, covering all aspects of social and legal life.
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