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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 Dual Character of Concepts and the Discourse Theory of Law

The Dual Character of Concepts and the Discourse Theory of Law

(p.275) 12 The Dual Character of Concepts and the Discourse Theory of Law
Institutionalized Reason

Maeve Cooke

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on discourse theory. Some of the most persistent objections to discourse theory concern the connection it asserts between discourse and truth/practical correctness. A key question here is whether discourse theory can maintain a conception of validity in an absolute sense. It is argued that by virtue of his account of the dual character of concepts, Alexy is able to uphold such a conception, while avoiding a serious criticism that Albrecht Wellmer has raised against the discourse theories proposed by Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas. As a lead-in to the discussion of the relation between discourse and absolute validity, the chapter offers a reading of Alexy's views of legal philosophy and of the institutionalized practice of law. In addition to casting light on important aspects of Alexy's discourse theory, this serves to introduce Alexy's notion of absolute procedural validity, which is a key element in the discussion.

Keywords:   discourse theory, Robert Alexy, absolute procedural validity, legal philosophy, law

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