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Social Tools and Legal Gears: Hägerström on the Nature of Law: Hägerström on the Nature of Law
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy, Ethics and Social Philosophy.
2014 (English)In: Axel Hägerström and Modern Social Thought / [ed] Sven Eliaeson, Patricia Mindus, Stephen P. Turner, Oxford: Bardwell Press, 2014, 257-281 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

One of the most renowned ideas of Scandinavian legal realism (SLR) is that the law is like a machine. This paper examines the figure of speech on the basis of the understanding that metaphors are conceptual maps that go from a less abstract or complex source dominion (e.g. the machine) to a target dominion of increased complexity or abstractness (e.g. the legal system). I distinguish, in the first section, various referents in the source dominion, namely different machines, so as to outline a reading that historically makes sense and that does not treat just any tool as a machine. In the second section, I list different meanings of the metaphor in its specific relation to law, the target dominion. By looking at both the source and the target dominion, I stress the terms in which Hägerström applied the metaphor, to better understand the limits of validity in the figure of speech. My aim is to grasp what features of the legal system the metaphor enables us to highlight.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Bardwell Press, 2014. 257-281 p.
, European Studies in Social Thought
Keyword [en]
Axel Hägerström – Scandinavian Legal Realism – Legal Theory – Legal Mechanics – Machines
National Category
Philosophy History of Ideas Ethics Law (excluding Law and Society)
Research subject
Practical Philosophy
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-164070ISBN: 978-1-905622-43-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-164070DiVA: diva2:466329
Available from: 2011-12-15 Created: 2011-12-15 Last updated: 2014-04-28Bibliographically approved

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