Book

General Theory of Norms

Hans Kelsen

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198252177
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681363 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198252177.001.0001
General Theory of Norms

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Hans Kelsen is considered by many to be one of the foremost legal thinkers of the twentieth century. He made important contributions to many areas, but especially to legal theory and international law. Over a number of decades, he developed an important legal theory which found its first complete exposition in Reine Rechtslehre, 1934, and its fullest expression in the second edition of Reine Rechtslehre, 1960. During the last decade of his life he was working on what he called a general theory of norms. When he died in 1973, he left a lengthy manuscript, which was published in 1979 as Allgemeine Theorie der Normen. This book is the translation, General Theory of Norms. It is the last work of one of the most important legal theorists this century. In it, Kelsen develops his ‘pure theory of law’ into a ‘general theory of norms’. In so doing, he provides a new basis for some of the positions he espoused earlier on, but also revises some of his earlier positions. The most important new topic is that of the applicability of logic to norms: Kelsen develops an original and extreme position some people have called ‘normative irrationalism’. In the book, Kelsen also examines the views of over 200 philosophers and legal theorists on law, morality, and logic, ranging from Plato and Aristotle to contemporary thinkers.

Keywords: Hans Kelsen; legal theory; international law; general theory of norms; logic; normative irrationalism; philosophers; morality; Plato; Aristotle

Book.  528 pages. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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Table of Contents

Norms in General Theory of Norms

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Causality and Imputation in General Theory of Norms

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