Chapter 6: Objectivity of legal knowledge: The challenge of scepticism
Restricted access

This chapter makes a case for a 'weak' conception of the objectivity of legal knowledge based on the use of valid methods for the interpretation of legal materials. At the core of this chapter lies a distinction between a strong and a weak sense of objectivity. While mainstream legal positivists and realists advocate a strong conception of objectivity akin to the correspondence theory of truth, for the author, this strong understanding is not applicable to the practical domain. Consequently, the author outlines a weaker understanding of objectivity inspired by David Hume's ethics. According to this view, legal knowledge is knowledge of objective interpretation in which statutes and precedents play the most critical role as primary premises. As formal reasons, these sources indicate the principles of justice and the values adopted in a society as the basis of its legal system. However, statutes and precedents are not sufficient fundaments, and other types of substantive reasons must supplement them.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account