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Legal idealism

DOI
10.4324/9780415249126-T020-1
DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-T020-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved October 21, 2019, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/legal-idealism/v-1

Article Summary

The term ‘legal idealism’ has various meanings. These include: the notion that laws, and the rights and duties they confer, genuinely exist, in which legal idealism is opposed to legal realism; the notion that law is intimately connected with moral or social values, in which legal idealism is opposed to legal positivism; the notion that one can move from certain premises about human reason and will to systematic principles for legal development and decision-making; and the notion that one can derive systematic principles of a similar kind from the requirements of social life. It is also sometimes used to imply too much faith in the capacity of law to solve problems. The enduring issues of legal idealism concern establishing systematic principles for legal development and decision-making.

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Citing this article:
Attwooll, Elspeth. Legal idealism, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-T020-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/legal-idealism/v-1.
Copyright © 1998-2019 Routledge.

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