One of the leading legal philosophers of this century, Kelsen published this short treatise in 1934, when the neo-Kantian influence on his work was at its zenith. An earlier, "constructivist" phase had been displaced by his effort to provide something approximating a neo-Kantian foundation for his theory. If this second phase represents the Pure Theory of Law in its most characteristic form, then the present treatise may well be its central text. And of Kelsen's many statements of the Pure Theory, this one is surely the most accessible. Topics covered include the legal norm and Kelsen's normativity thesis, law and morality, the role of ideology, the concept of the legal person, legal interpretation, the identity of law and state, and the theory of international law. Among the appendices is an annotated bibliography of secondary literature on Kelsen.
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