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The Institutionality of Legal Validity

Ehrenberg, Kenneth (2018) The Institutionality of Legal Validity Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

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The most influential theory of law in current analytic legal philosophy is legal positivism, which generally understands law to be a kind of institution. The most influential theory of institutions in current analytic social philosophy is that of John Searle. One would hope that the two theories are compatible, and in many ways they certainly are. But one incompatibility that still needs ironing out involves the relation of the social rule that undergirds the validity of any legal system (H.L.A. Hart’s rule of recognition) to Searle’s notion of codification: the idea that institutions need official declarations of their constitutive rules in order to enjoy the full benefits of institutions. The incompatibility arises from the fact that, in order to do its institutional work, the basic validity rule must be codified in Searle’s sense—yet, given the particular role it has in legal positivism, it may be impossible to codify in the Searlean sense. In this paper I develop the incompatibility in detail, consider and reject consigning the basic validity rule to Searle’s “Background” capacities that support institutional facts, and conclude that the best route to eliminating it while doing a minimum of damage to the two theories is to make a slight emendation to Searle’s theory of institutions.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Law
Authors :
Date : 17 July 2018
DOI : 10.1111/phpr.12536
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2018 The Authors. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Philosophy and Phenonmenological Research, LLC This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 04 Jul 2018 10:40
Last Modified : 08 Aug 2019 13:01

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