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The Autonomy of LawEssays on Legal Positivism$
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Robert P. George

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198267904

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198267904.001.0001

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The Truth in Legal Positivism

The Truth in Legal Positivism

(p.194) (p.195) 7 The Truth in Legal Positivism
The Autonomy of Law

John Finnis

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the three types of law are discussed. Natural laws are intrinsic to reason and are never inapplicable. The second type of law refers to that whose relation to natural law is intrinsic, direct and immediate, but is at times inapplicable in some situations. The third are positive laws, which are defined as the product of human deliberation and choice. The second and third types are linked back to the natural law, having an intrinsic relation to it. To understand legal positivism, the operation of the types of laws stated must first be understood. The term ‘positivity’ is also defined in this chapter, to mean a concept of organizing the reflection on law, legal rights and legal justice. The discussions of Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle about law are used as support for this chapter.

Keywords:   Aristotle, natural law, positive law, positivity, Thomas Aquinas

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