Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Within legal positivism, the theory which holds that there is no necessary connection between legal validity and morality, there is dissensus about whether there can be a contingent connection. Inclusive legal positivists suggest that it is possible for morality to play a role in determining a norm’s legal validity while exclusive legal positivists argue for the opposite. This dissertation examines this debate between inclusive legal positivism and exclusive legal positivism focusing on how paying attention to all of the fundamental secondary rules in a legal system can affect arguments about the coherence of either theory. The fundamental secondary rules being the rules which identify other rules, identify authority and authorize changes. I will be demonstrating that three exclusive legal positivist arguments against inclusive legal positivism are unconvincing because of the role that fundamental secondary rules play in our legal systems. Shapiro and Raz offer arguments against inclusive legal positivism based on different important features that they believe the law possesses. However, given their commitment to a particular type of fundamental secondary rule, specifically a directed power, exclusive legal positivism is unable to better capture these important features. Himma suggests that inclusive legal positivism cannot explain how a court can have final authority to determine constitutional cases involving moral criteria. Again, however, we examine what fundamental rules an inclusive legal positivist could employ to explain the phenomenon, we find that exclusive legal positivism is in no better position. At the end of the dissertation, I will suggest why I think continuing with these types of arguments will continue to be fruitless and briefly examine how similar inclusive and exclusive legal positivism are through investigating how one might determine whether a given legal system had an inclusive rule of recognition or exclusive one.
Kuiper, Heather N., "UNDERSTANDING FUNDAMENTAL SECONDARY RULES AND THE INCLUSIVE/EXCLUSIVE LEGAL POSITIVISM DEBATE" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7564.
McMaster University Library