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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Legal Positivism in American Jurisprudence

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Anthony J. SebokBrooklyn College, City University of New York

ISBN13: 9780521480413
ISBN: 0521480418
Published: November 1999
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £84.99

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This book represents a serious and philosophically sophisticated guide to modern American legal theory, demonstrating that legal positivism has been a misunderstood and underappreciated perspective through most of twentieth-century American legal thought. Anthony Sebok traces the roots of positivism through the first half of the twentieth century, and rejects the view that one must adopt some version of natural law theory in order to recognize moral principles in the law. On the contrary, once one corrects for the mistakes of formalism and postwar legal process, one is left with a theory of legal positivism that takes moral principles seriously while avoiding the pitfalls of natural law. The broad scope of this book ensures that it will be read by philosophers of law, historians of law, historians of American intellectual life, and those in political science concerned with public law and administration.

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Jurisprudence, Other Jurisdictions , USA
Acknowlegments; 1. Why study legal positivism; 2. Positivism and formalism; 3. The varieties of formalism; 4. Legal process and the shadow of positivism; 5. The false choice between the Warren Court and legal process; 6. Fundamental rights and the problem of insatiability; 7. New legal positivism and the incorporation of morality.