Spinoza, Kelsen and the nature ofthe legal norm

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Out of the immense number of topics that Spinoza scholars have studied, the possibility of a rapprochement between his philosophy and Kelsen's work has gone virtually unnoticed. Kelsen rejects the trivial conception of the State as a community of wills, independent and prior to the legal order, both in its metaphysical and ethical version, and its sociological version. To imagine a common law in the abstract, a transcendent justice for the city, would be to fall into the illusion of legitimacy outside of legality, which, in the Spinozian democracy, as in Kelsen's science of law, is equivalent to fabrication. If, on the one hand, the basic norm enables the science of law to be purged from all meta-legal or metaphysical authority, on the other hand, it isolates it from any empirical or subjective contamination, ensuring for its objects the epistemological purity that a science so requires.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpinoza and Law
EditorsAndre Santos Campos
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781351548052
ISBN (Print)9781315087757
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2017


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