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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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Correctness and Legitimacy in the Discourse Theory of Law

Correctness and Legitimacy in the Discourse Theory of Law

(p.291) 13 Correctness and Legitimacy in the Discourse Theory of Law
Institutionalized Reason

Cristina Lafont

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the question of whether the discourse theory of law, as elaborated thus far by Jürgen Habermas and Robert Alexy, contains the resources needed to provide a satisfactory account of two important dimensions of the validity of social norms: their substantive correctness and the legitimacy of their enforcement in a particular political community. It is shown that while such a satisfactory account is indeed possible, the account requires important revisions to the standard interpretation of several assumptions of the discursive approach to legal theory. More specifically, a satisfactory account of the validity of norms requires a direct rejection of the antirealist interpretation of the discourse approach that Habermas has explicitly defended in recent years.

Keywords:   discourse theory, social norms, correctness, enforcement, political community, legal theory, antirealist, Habermas

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