The Applicability of the Principle of Contradiction to Norms

Hans Kelsen

in General Theory of Norms

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198252177
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681363 | DOI:
The Applicability of the Principle of Contradiction to Norms

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The basic presupposition of the principles of traditional logic concerning the truth of statements is that there are true and false statements, that is, there are statements which have the property of being true or false. Statements which are true or false are the meaning of acts of thought. But norms are the meaning of acts of will directed to the behaviour of others, and so are neither true nor false. Consequently they are not subject to the principles of traditional logic, since these relate to truth and falsity. The linguistic expression of a norm is an imperative or sollen-sentence; and when people assume that the logical principles of contradiction and of inference apply to norms, they are usually thinking of sollen-sentences.

Keywords: true and false statements; act of will; behaviour; traditional logic; truth and falsity; sollen-sentence

Chapter.  7405 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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