Simple Positivism

Roger A. Shiner

in Norm and Nature

Published in print September 1992 | ISBN: 9780198257196
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681721 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Law Series

Simple Positivism

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law


Show Summary Details


This chapter presents an account of simple positivism. It may be summarized in the following seven theses: (1) law provides a reason for action which is a reason ‘on the balance of reasons’; (2) the authority of law derives from standards entirely external to law; (3) it is possible to take the external point of view altogether to law; (4) it is a contingent truth about some given society how far law in that society is accepted as legitimate; (5) law consists of statutes and common-law precedential rules, and adjudication in hard cases is strongly discretionary; (6) legal interpretation is ‘mechanical’, and the semantics for propositions of law is ‘realist’; and (7) it is contingent whether the law in any particular society is ‘for the common good’ of that society.

Keywords: legal theory; positivism; reason; action; law

Chapter.  9233 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.