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The Theory of Rules$
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Karl N. Llewellyn and Fredrick Schauer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226487953

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226487977.001.0001

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Rules of Law: The Propositional Form

Rules of Law: The Propositional Form

(p.63) Chapter III Rules of Law: The Propositional Form
The Theory of Rules
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the propositional form of rules of law. The “anomaly” about a rule of law, that it “is made for the purpose of covering its own breach” was an “anomaly” which depends on first seeing the rule as in a fundamental sense a command. The Oughtness of a legal consequence in a propositional form of rule lay in an inevitable and similar flux between legal rightness and ethical rightness. Rules of law were rules with the function of accomplishing control by language-communication. There were two elements in this: language-communication and accomplishment of control. The very propositional form of [a] rule of law was itself an ideal type, not a description of the actual and current rules. Current rules were very commonly elliptical in phrasing; on the case-law side, they rarely have an accepted form of precise wording—what is “the universally accepted rule” is an idea, not a phrasing.

Keywords:   rules of law, propositional form, command, Oughtness, legal rightness, ethical rightness, language, communication

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