Husserl's Theory of the ‘Theoretical Content’ of a Norm

Hans Kelsen

in General Theory of Norms

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198252177
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681363 | DOI:
Husserl's Theory of the ‘Theoretical Content’ of a Norm

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What Jorgensen calls the ‘indicative factor’ contained in a command, Edmund Husserl calls the ‘theoretical content’ of a norm. He says of every practical discipline that ‘its rules [i.e. norms] must have a theoretical content separable from the notion of normativity (of the “shall” or “should”).’ The norm ‘An A should be B’ is ‘identical’ with, or ‘at least’ equivalent to, the sentence ‘Only an A which is a B is a good A’. He calls this a purely ‘theoretical’ sentence and claims that the norm ‘implies’ this theoretical sentence. Thus, according to Husserl, the ‘normative’ sentence ‘An A should be B’ expresses ‘normativity’; in other words, this sollen-sentence is a norm.

Keywords: Edmund Husserl; theoretical content; indicative factor; command; sollen-sentence; normativity

Chapter.  1250 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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