This paper addresses an important problem in modem legal philosophy: the problem of identifying the proper role of the concept of coercion in a general theory of the nature of law. The present state of philosophical art on this topic is the legacy of difficulties arising from a naive positivism - generally thought to have over-emphasized the role of coercive power. The resulting reaction in modem jurisprudence against the focus upon coercion reflects a failure to come to grips fully with the underlying methodological issues of descriptive legal theory.



Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

University of Colorado Law Review

Publication Information

57 University of Colorado Law Review 1 (1985)

Included in

Jurisprudence Commons


COinS Dale A. Nance Faculty Bio