Legal Positivism vs. Natural Law Theory Comparison Essay by anvilman

Legal Positivism vs. Natural Law Theory
Examines and compares these two theories of philosophy of law.
# 63731 | 1,353 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2005 | CA

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In the philosophy of law, two competing factions each offer compelling arguments as to the basic nature, origin, authority and responsibility of law. These two theories are known as Natural Law Theory and Legal Positivism. This paper shows that while there are many disagreements between the two theories, at the heart of the argument is the questionable relationship between law and morality. The paper examines how Natural Law Theorists argue that there is an essential and innate overlap between law and morality, while Legal Positivists argue that while the decisions of law and morality do occasionally overlap, there is no natural relationship between them.

From the Paper:

"Legal Positivists rely on a sovereign to legislate law; this sovereign,
whether it be a monarch, an aristocracy, an elected parliament, or any other person or body that writes the law for a society. For a sovereign to be considered as such, most, if not all, of the population must follow the sovereign's laws, and there must be a threat of force to enforce the law. If either of these conditions are not met, the leader cannot claim to be a true sovereign entity. Also, the sovereign cannot be subject to another sovereign's authority, such as God; if a sovereign is to be the head of a society and the maker of laws, she must be invulnerable to persuasion or else she is not a sovereign."

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Legal Positivism vs. Natural Law Theory (2006, February 12) Retrieved December 03, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Legal Positivism vs. Natural Law Theory" 12 February 2006. Web. 03 December. 2023. <>