No Logical Relation between Willing the End and Willing the Means

Hans Kelsen

in General Theory of Norms

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198252177
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681363 | DOI:
No Logical Relation between Willing the End and Willing the Means

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The relation between willing the end and willing the means — the relation asserted in the means–end rule — cannot be a logical necessity, since no logical relation can obtain between two real states of affairs such as two acts of will. The principles of logic are concerned not with real acts of thought — these are the object of psychology and not logic — but with their ideell contents, with the meaning of the acts of thought, that is, with what is thought; and consequently, a fortiori they are not concerned with acts of will. The only kind of necessity which could obtain in the relation between the two acts of will is causal necessity. But in fact it does not, since a person can in fact will the end without willing the appropriate means, for instance when he is unaware of the appropriate means.

Keywords: willing the end; willing the means; means–end rule; logical relation; logical necessity; causal necessity

Chapter.  1356 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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