Synthese 200 (2):1-27 (2022)

This paper is divided into two parts. In the first one I distinguish between weak and strong Anti-Archimedeanisms, the latter being the view that metaethics, just as any other discipline attempting to work out a second-order conceptual, metaphysical non-committed discourse about the first-order discourse composing normative practices, is conceptually impossible or otherwise incoherent. I deal in particular with Ronald Dworkin’s famous exposition of the view. I argue that strong Anti-Archimedeanism constitutes an untenable philosophical stance, therefore making logical space for the practice of a discipline such as metaethics—conceived as ethically neutral. This makes space, concurrently, for neutral conceptual jurisprudence. In the second part of the article, I attempt to show two things. On the one hand, that Dworkin’s widely discussed ‘challenge of disagreements’ to legal positivism is founded upon strong Anti-Archimedeanism. On the other hand, that having rejected strong Anti-Archimedeanism we should consequently reject the challenge as a serious challenge to positivism. This move, of course, does not thereby imply that accounting for legal disagreements is not an important jurisprudential task. But it marks—contra Dworkin—that there is no principled or a priori impossibility of doing so within a positivist framework.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-022-03624-y
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References found in this work BETA

The Concept of Law.Hla Hart - 1961 - Oxford University Press.
Aboutness.Stephen Yablo - 2014 - Princeton University Press.
Law’s Empire.Ronald Dworkin - 1986 - Harvard University Press.

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