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Normativity and NormsCritical Perspectives on Kelsenian Themes$
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Stanley L. Paulson

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198763154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198763154.001.0001

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On the Transcendental Import of Kelsen's Basic Norm *

On the Transcendental Import of Kelsen's Basic Norm *

(p.220) (p.221) 11 On the Transcendental Import of Kelsen's Basic Norm*
Normativity and Norms

Gerhard Luf

Oxford University Press

In the enquiry into the import and function of the basic norm in Hans Kelsen's legal theory, the interpretations of special interest are those dealing with the notion of the basic norm as the ‘logico-transcendental’ condition for cognition in legal science, or with the relation of Kelsen's juridico-scientific method to Kant's practice philosophy. Two thinkers in particular have written along these lines, Norbert Leser and Ralf Dreier, respectively. This chapter begins by describing the positions taken up by the two authors. It then asks, whether in terms of Leser's thesis, it is in fact possible to maintain the notion of the transcendental character of the basic norm. It then turns to Dreier's suggested reinterpretation of the basic norm by appeal to the law of reason, examining the suggestion from the point of view of Kant's philosophy.

Keywords:   basic norm, Norbert Leser, Ralf Dreier, transcendental theory, Kantian philosophy, law of reason

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