Neither the Statement nor the Norm ‘Wants’ Anything

Hans Kelsen

in General Theory of Norms

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198252177
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681363 | DOI:
Neither the Statement nor the Norm ‘Wants’ Anything

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A person can utter a statement in answer to a question with the intention of merely giving an answer and without wanting it to be the true answer; but also without wanting to make a false statement or to lie. A person can make a statement sincerely (i.e. considering it to be true) without wanting others to think it true, for instance, because he is indifferent to the matter or because he does not desire the possible effects that its being taken to be true can have on the person to whom the statement is addressed. But he can also make a statement and want others to think it true, knowing that it is false and therefore not wanting it to be true at all: a person can lie consciously.

Keywords: statements; norms; command; obedience; norm validity; willing

Chapter.  1002 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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