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The Practice of PrincipleIn Defence of a Pragmatist Approach to Legal Theory$
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Jules Coleman

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199264124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199264124.001.0001

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Legal Content, Social Facts, and Interpretive Practice

Legal Content, Social Facts, and Interpretive Practice

Chapter:
(p.151) Lecture Eleven— Legal Content, Social Facts, and Interpretive Practice
Source:
The Practice of Principle
Author(s):

JULES L. COLEMAN

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199264124.003.0012

This chapter outlines the chapter’s views on three fundamental substantive questions in jurisprudence regarding the relationship between law and political morality. These are: (1) What are the existence conditions of the criteria of legality in any community? (2) What are the constraints, if any, on the content of those criteria? (3) How do we construct the content of the law of any community? It is argued that conceptual analysis reveals that the existence conditions of the criteria of legality are social, not moral facts; that morality can be, but need not be, a criterion of legality; and that determining the content of law in any community is not an exercise in political morality.

Keywords:   jurisprudence, legal theory, political morality, legality, moral facts

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