Legal Reductionism and Freedom

Legal Reductionism and Freedom

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Martin van Hees presents a new approach to the study of law - legal reductionism - which combines elements of legal positivism, new institutionalism and decision theory. From legal positivism Van Hees derives some fundamental insights into the nature of legal systems, but he also revises some of its key tenets. He argues that law can be reduced to facts; moreover, he re-establishes the relation between law and morality by arguing that law and positive morality are inherently related. He subsequently uses decision-theoretic tools to develop and defend his reductionist methodology. The second part of the study applies the resulting approach to an analysis of legal freedom. By showing that legal reductionism allows us to analyse the value of liberal legal systems, Van Hees makes a forceful case for including the study of law in moral and political philosophy. The book is accessible to a wide readership, including legal and moral philosophers, political theorists and social scientists.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 204 pages
  • 160 x 241.3 x 15.2mm | 385.56g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands, United States
  • English
  • 2000 ed.
  • biography
  • 0792364910
  • 9780792364917

Review quote

'All in all, however, Legal Reductionism and Freedom is an admirable piece of work: rigorous, clear, and stimulating. Its discussions of freedom are especially thought-provoking, and the book as a whole can be recommended to anyone interested in legal or political philosophy.' The Cambridge Law Journal (2000)
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Table of contents

Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part 1: Legal Reductionism. 1. Legal Positivism and the Normativity Thesis. 2. Legal Positivism and the Separability Thesis. 3. Reductionism and the Analysis of Institutions. 4. Legal Systems, Rights and the Legal-Political Game. Part 2: Legal Reductionism Applied: The Analysis of Legal Freedom. 5. Legal Freedom: Concept and Contents. 6. Freedom of Choice. 7. Conditions of Legal Freedom. 8. The Value of Legal Freedom. Appendix: Legal-Political Games. References. Index.
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