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A Practical View of Law: Taking China in Transition as an Illustration

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The present age is an age full of problems. To answer the question what's law, we should focus on the study of the tension between facts and norms. The tension is reflected through two perspectives: 1) the asymmetry between facts and norms in epistemology; 2) the conflict between facts and norms in ethics. The first is universal while the second is uniquely Chinese. The existing views of law highlight epistemology, tending to give privileges to one of the two: facts or norms, and making them irreconcilable. This paper would like to draw upon two essential elements of practice and use practice to address the ethical conflict between facts and norms, and use reflection to deal with the epistemological asymmetry between the two. This is what we call "a practical view of law" which reconciles facts with norms and takes "law is phronesis (prudentia)" as its core proposition.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 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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