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Law, Obligation, and Morality: What is the Individual's Responsibility

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Title: Law, Obligation, and Morality: What is the Individual's Responsibility
Author: Skillern, Frank F.
Abstract: The natural law and positivist schools of jurisprudence have sought to explain what law is and how morality and law are related. By defining law and the role of morality in a legal system, the duty of the individual in the system to obey the law becomes apparent. Then the issue of whether obligation is inherent in law may be addressed. And if law does not give rise to a duty of obedience by the individual, is the individual nonetheless obligated by his relationship to society or by the relationship between moral standards and law? These issues will be examined in the context of the positivist school of jurisprudence with comparison of it to the natural law school where appropriate for a fuller understanding of the positivist position. The positivist school of jurisprudence consists of four basic approaches: ( 1) the imperative or command theory, (2) the realist school, (3) the system of norms, and (4) the system of rules. Although each approach differs in its definition or analysis of law, each adheres to basic tenets of positivism: the separation of law from morality and the belief that law is fact which can be discovered empirically in the institutions of man. This adherence is seen more clearly in the definition of law and legal obligation of each.
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Date: 1973

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