Re: Property and the Law

From: Greg Burch (
Date: Wed Jul 25 2001 - 07:00:16 MDT

[. . . still just skimming the list as I prepare for trial, but Tom's
comment caught my eye . . .]

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Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2001 12:13 AM
Subject: Re: Property and the Law

> False dichotomy warning: Legal positivism and natural law are not
> opposites.
> Although most positivists embrace statism, they need not. Positivism,
> properly construed, merely requires that we define "law" by reference to
> rules that effectively control human social behavior. Nor, though many
> need an advocate of natural law adopt the view that natural laws come from
> God, or Kantian edicts, or other such noumenal realms. Advocates of
> law can embrace a positivist methodology, arguing that natural laws are
> that in practice prove effective--"natural" if you will--to ordering human
> societies. See, e.g., Hayek's explanation of the evolution of law.

I (think) I agree, especialy after having read "Principles for a Free
Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty With the Common Good," by Richard A.
Epstein. Just as people are looking for new cultural paradigms in the
post-post-modernist world in other realms, the positivist-natural law
dichotomoy needs re-thinking.

Greg Burch
Vice-President, Extropy Institute

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