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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Legal Reductionism and Freedom

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Martin van HeesUniversity of Groningen, The Netherlands

ISBN13: 9780792364917
ISBN: 0792364910
Published: September 2000
Publisher: Kluwer Law International
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print

This work 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 the author 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 analyze the value of liberal legal systems, the author aims to make a forceful case for including the study of law in moral and political philosophy.

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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.