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Institutionalized ReasonThe Jurisprudence of Robert Alexy$
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Matthias Klatt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199582068

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199582068.001.0001

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The Principles Theory

The Principles Theory

How Many Theories and What is their Merit?

(p.218) 10 The Principles Theory
Institutionalized Reason

Ralf Poscher

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a critique of Alexy's principles theory which has two objectives. First, it attempts to distinguish between the different types of theory that have found refuge under the unitary label. By clarifying the different theoretical aspirations pursued by proponents of the principles theory, it attempts to systematize the various theoretical and doctrinal efforts that often have not been clearly separated in the debate. The critique aims at a framework within which the different arguments and criticisms can be situated, so that it becomes clearer to which type, level, or aspect of the principles theory the argument is directed. Second, the critique offers an evaluation of the theoretical and doctrinal positions and achievements of the various principles theories found at each of the levels identified. This analysis is critical, for the most part. The claim is that the principles theory is mistaken on most counts and also that it fails in its self-conception by confusing the different levels of its theoretical and doctrinal aspirations.

Keywords:   principles theory, Robert Alexy, self-conception, critique

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