7
DISCRETION AND LEGAL THEORY

1. THE DISCRETION ARGUMENT

In the last chapter we examined three arguments, each purporting to show that positivism is inconsistent with a rule of recognition containing moral tests for valid law, and that inclusive positivism is therefore incoherent. The Validity Argument was shown to be unsound on the ground that weight and validity are logically compatible properties. The Pedigree Argument was seen to fail because the moral tests for law sanctioned by inclusive positivism are only contingent features of some possible legal systems. The Argument From Function was discredited on a number of grounds, the primary one being that it seriously exaggerates the positivist's concern for certainty and finality in the law, casting his views concerning how law sometimes serves these values into a form he would reject, namely, a normative theory of law.

In this chapter we consider two further arguments which might be offered to show that positivism is inconsistent with moral tests for law, and that inclusive positivism is therefore internally inconsistent. Both arguments appeal to the idea of discretion, a notion which was extremely important in Dworkin's early assault upon positivism.1 The first argument runs as follows.

According to inclusive positivism, the fact that judges and lawyers appeal to principles of political morality as grounds for determinations of law is consistent with legal positivism. But this is wrong. It is an implication of the positivist's theory of legal reasoning that any appeal to moral principles must always be discretionary. It must involve the creation of new law, not the discovery of pre-existing, valid law. So inclusive positivism is internally incoherent after all,

____________________
1
See "Judicial Discretion" and Taking Rights Seriously, ch. 3, formerly called "The Model of Rules".

-191-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Inclusive Legal Positivism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Contents ix
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2 - Theories and Conceptions 9
  • 3 - The Forces of Law 31
  • 4 - Inclusive V. Exclusive Positivism 80
  • 5 - Charter Challenges 142
  • 6 - Hercules 166
  • 7 - Discretion and Legal Theory 191
  • 8 - Morals and the Meaning of Laws 232
  • References 273
  • Table of Cases 281
  • Index 283
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 290

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.