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Which Kind of Legal Order? Logical Coherence and Praxeological Coherence

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  • Rizzo Mario J.

    (New York University)

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    Abstract

    Nous proposons dans cet article un développement de l’idée proposée par F.A. Hayek selon laquelle l’ordre du droit coutumier est un ordre d’action, une coordination des plans individuels dans un système d’échange régi par ce droit. Cette conception s’oppose à l’idée suivant laquelle l’ordre légal doit être avant tout fondé sur la cohérence logique des concepts et doctrines de ce droit. Un exemple important de cette approche est celui de la structure de maximisation des richesses de William Landes et Richard Posner. L’article montre que la cohérence logique n’est ni nécessaire ni suffisante pour un ordre de plans ou pour une “cohérence praxéologique”. Nous défendons la position du droit coutumier classique suivant laquelle le droit se développe en accord avec les anticipations marginales des parties en présence. Dans la mesure où le droit se développe dans ce sens, il est possible d’approcher des objectifs jumelés du droit coutumier : la certitude relative et l’adaptation aux circonstances particulières.This article is a development of the idea, proposed by F.A. Hayek, that the order of common law is an order of actions, that is, a coordination of the plans of individuals in a system of exchanges governed by that law. This is in contrast to the idea that legal order is primarily to be found in the logical coherence of the law’s doctrines and concepts. (An important example of the latter approach is the wealth-maximization framework of William Landes and Richard Posner.) The article shows that logical coherence is neither necessary nor sufficient for an order of plans, or “praxeological coherence”. It argues for the classic common law position that the law develops in accordance with the marginal expectations of the relevant parties. To the extent that the law develops in this way, it is possible for the twin goals of the common law to be approximated: relative certainty and adaptation to novel circumstances.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

    Volume (Year): 9 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 1-16

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:9:y:1999:i:4:n:1

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    Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

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    Web: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jeeh

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    Cited by:
    1. Douglas Whitman, 2009. "The rules of abstraction," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 21-41, March.

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