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Hart vs Ross - On Validity, Normativity and Legal Statements

Kimeus, Markus LU (2012) JURM02 20121
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Inom ramen av sin recension av Ross’ bok On Law and Justice presenterade Hart mycket framgångsrikt vad han senare skulle bli känd för inom rättsfilosofin - den interna ståndpunkten. I sin kritik av Ross rättsteori hävdade Hart att rättsliga omdömen om giltighet främst skall uppfattas som interna, normativa omdömen och som ett uttryck för acceptans av lagen som en beteendestandard. Han uppfattade inte möjligheten att kunna inta den interna ståndpunkten rent kognitivt utifrån ett externt perspektiv och att sådana omdömen därmed skulle kunna vara rent beskrivande, snarare än normativa.

Denna möjlighet påpekades flera år senare av andra rättsfilosofer. Joseph Raz introducerade begreppet ’fristående’ juridiska omdömen som en möjlig tredje... (More)
Inom ramen av sin recension av Ross’ bok On Law and Justice presenterade Hart mycket framgångsrikt vad han senare skulle bli känd för inom rättsfilosofin - den interna ståndpunkten. I sin kritik av Ross rättsteori hävdade Hart att rättsliga omdömen om giltighet främst skall uppfattas som interna, normativa omdömen och som ett uttryck för acceptans av lagen som en beteendestandard. Han uppfattade inte möjligheten att kunna inta den interna ståndpunkten rent kognitivt utifrån ett externt perspektiv och att sådana omdömen därmed skulle kunna vara rent beskrivande, snarare än normativa.

Denna möjlighet påpekades flera år senare av andra rättsfilosofer. Joseph Raz introducerade begreppet ’fristående’ juridiska omdömen som en möjlig tredje kategori, förutom Harts ’externa’ och ’interna’ perspektiv. Neil MacCormick föreslog att Harts interna perspektiv egentligen består av två olika typer av uttalanden; ’viljebestämda’ interna omdömen och ’kognitiva’ interna omdömen. Svein Eng hävdade för inte så länge sedan att modaliteten hos advokaters uttalanden de lege lata egentligen är en sammansmältning av nödvändiga deskriptiva och normativa element. Dessa förslag, liksom ytterligare synpunkter på nödvändiga distinktioner kommer att diskuteras mer i detalj i uppsatsen.

Det övergripande syftet med uppsatsen är att diskutera koncepten giltighet och normativitet som de har presenterats av två av vår tids mest erkända rättsfilosofer, nämligen H.L.A. Hart och Alf Ross. Avsikten är att återge och tydliggöra varje författares syn på giltighet och normativitet, att göra en initial jämförelse mellan dem och att därpå utvärdera resultatet gentemot den allmänt erkända uppfattningen inom rättsfilosofin, att de två teorierna inte är kompatibla. Mot bakgrund av de ovan nämnda förslagen, argumenteras för vikten av att beakta möjligheten att inkludera under-kategorier till Harts’ ’externa’ respektive ’interna’ perspektiv, för att bättre kunna förstå Harts’ och Ross’ respektive syn på juridiska giltighetsomdömen.

Genom att använda en analytisk filosofisk metod, blir tillvägagångssättet för att kunna besvara uppsatsens frågeställningar något liknande en jämförande konceptuell analys mellan Hart och Ross. Tillvägagångssättet syftar till att klargöra att det finns olika typer av interna, såväl som externa, juridiska omdömen. Genom att introducera en grafisk illustration, där samtliga noterade förslag på ytterligare perspektiv inkluderas, kan det enkelt urskiljas åtminstone fyra olika typer av juridiska omdömen. Följaktligen kommer det att argumenteras för huruvida detta skulle kunna förklara, åtminstone delvis, den förvirring som omger begreppet giltighet i utbytet mellan Hart och Ross.
Slutligen, skillnader och likheter mellan de två teorierna kommer att diskuteras och slutsatser dras med hänsyn till frågeställningarna som skall besvaras i uppsatsen. Förhoppningen är att under processens gång kommer Harts’ respektive Ross’ avsedda innebörd av begreppet giltighet att slutligen framstå såsom självklart. (Less)
Abstract
With his review of Ross’s book On Law and Justice, Hart introduced something for which he later on, would become famous in legal philosophy – the internal point of view. In his criticism of Ross’s legal theory, Hart claimed that legal statements of validity are primarily internal, normative statements, manifesting acceptance of the law as a standard of behaviour. He did not acknowledge the possibility of taking the internal point of view into account cognitively, from an external point of view, and thus possibly being purely descriptive, rather than normative, statements.

This possibility was pointed out several years later by other legal scholars. Joseph Raz introduced the term ‘detached’ legal statements as a possible third category,... (More)
With his review of Ross’s book On Law and Justice, Hart introduced something for which he later on, would become famous in legal philosophy – the internal point of view. In his criticism of Ross’s legal theory, Hart claimed that legal statements of validity are primarily internal, normative statements, manifesting acceptance of the law as a standard of behaviour. He did not acknowledge the possibility of taking the internal point of view into account cognitively, from an external point of view, and thus possibly being purely descriptive, rather than normative, statements.

This possibility was pointed out several years later by other legal scholars. Joseph Raz introduced the term ‘detached’ legal statements as a possible third category, in addition to Hart’s ‘external’ and ‘internal’ point of view. Neil MacCormick suggested that Hart’s internal point of view actually consists of two different types of statements; ‘volitionally’ internal statements and ‘cognitively’ internal statements. More recently, Svein Eng suggested that lawyers’ propositions de lege lata constitute the paradigm example where a proposition is actually a fusion of descriptive and normative elements. These suggestions, as well as other views on important distinctions that must be made, will be discussed in more detail in the present thesis.

The main purpose of this Master thesis is to discuss the concept of legal validity and normativity as presented by two of the main legal philosophers of our time, namely H.L.A. Hart and Alf Ross. The intention is to render and clarify each author’s view of validity and normativity, to make an initial comparison between them and thereupon to evaluate the outcome against the received opinion among legal scholars, namely that the two theories are not compatible. With suggestions made by other legal scholars, this thesis argues for the importance of taking into account and allow for sub-categories within Hart’s ‘external’ and ‘internal’ point of view, in order to better understand Hart’s and Ross’s respective views on legal statements of validity.

Through the use of an analytical philosophical method, the problematic questions are approached in a somewhat comparative conceptual analysis between Hart and Ross. This approach purports to clarify that there are actually different types of internal, as well as external, statements. By introducing a graphical illustration, where all the noted views that have been brought forward are included, one can easily distinguish between at least four different types of legal statements. Consequently, it will be argued whether this could account, at least partially, for the confusion surrounding the term validity in the exchange between Hart and Ross.

Finally, differences and similarities between the two theories will be discussed and conclusions will be drawn with regard to the problematic questions addressed in this paper. Hopefully, in this process, Hart’s and Ross’s respective intended meanings of validity statements, will emerge as self evident. (Less)
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author
Kimeus, Markus LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20121
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
jurisprudence, legal philosophy, validity, normativity, legal statements, Hart, Ross
language
English
id
2836065
date added to LUP
2012-07-13 15:58:38
date last changed
2012-07-13 15:58:38
@misc{2836065,
  abstract     = {With his review of Ross’s book On Law and Justice, Hart introduced something for which he later on, would become famous in legal philosophy – the internal point of view. In his criticism of Ross’s legal theory, Hart claimed that legal statements of validity are primarily internal, normative statements, manifesting acceptance of the law as a standard of behaviour. He did not acknowledge the possibility of taking the internal point of view into account cognitively, from an external point of view, and thus possibly being purely descriptive, rather than normative, statements.

This possibility was pointed out several years later by other legal scholars. Joseph Raz introduced the term ‘detached’ legal statements as a possible third category, in addition to Hart’s ‘external’ and ‘internal’ point of view. Neil MacCormick suggested that Hart’s internal point of view actually consists of two different types of statements; ‘volitionally’ internal statements and ‘cognitively’ internal statements. More recently, Svein Eng suggested that lawyers’ propositions de lege lata constitute the paradigm example where a proposition is actually a fusion of descriptive and normative elements. These suggestions, as well as other views on important distinctions that must be made, will be discussed in more detail in the present thesis.

The main purpose of this Master thesis is to discuss the concept of legal validity and normativity as presented by two of the main legal philosophers of our time, namely H.L.A. Hart and Alf Ross. The intention is to render and clarify each author’s view of validity and normativity, to make an initial comparison between them and thereupon to evaluate the outcome against the received opinion among legal scholars, namely that the two theories are not compatible. With suggestions made by other legal scholars, this thesis argues for the importance of taking into account and allow for sub-categories within Hart’s ‘external’ and ‘internal’ point of view, in order to better understand Hart’s and Ross’s respective views on legal statements of validity. 

Through the use of an analytical philosophical method, the problematic questions are approached in a somewhat comparative conceptual analysis between Hart and Ross. This approach purports to clarify that there are actually different types of internal, as well as external, statements. By introducing a graphical illustration, where all the noted views that have been brought forward are included, one can easily distinguish between at least four different types of legal statements. Consequently, it will be argued whether this could account, at least partially, for the confusion surrounding the term validity in the exchange between Hart and Ross.

Finally, differences and similarities between the two theories will be discussed and conclusions will be drawn with regard to the problematic questions addressed in this paper. Hopefully, in this process, Hart’s and Ross’s respective intended meanings of validity statements, will emerge as self evident.},
  author       = {Kimeus, Markus},
  keyword      = {jurisprudence,legal philosophy,validity,normativity,legal statements,Hart,Ross},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Hart vs Ross - On Validity, Normativity and Legal Statements},
  year         = {2012},
}