“This cannot be its meaning in the mouth of the judge”: The case for the new English language translation of Alf Ross’s On Law and Justice, forthcoming on Oxford University Press

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A second English edition of Alf Ross’s main work On Law and Justice is forthcoming on the Oxford University Press. Instead of simply reprinting the existing English language translation from 1958 the new edition contains a full new translation. This article by the editor of the new edition unfolds the argument for this choice. This argument focuses on the highly negative role of H.L.A. Hart’s influential critique for the reception of Ross’s work in Anglo American legal philosophy. It claims, first of all, that Hart’s critique essentially misses the mark, and that it is ultimately a straw man. It further argues that even though Hart was at least partly responsible for this misreading the 1958 English translation certainly did not help. Due to a number of errors, omissions and problematic terminological choices the first translation can be said to at least invite the inattentive or uncharitable reader to arrive at the kind of misreadings Hart arrived at.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUtopía y praxis latinoamericana : revista internacional de filosofía iberoamericana y teoría social
Volume20
Issue number71
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
ISSN1316-5216
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

    Research areas

  • The Faculty of Law - Alf Ross, valid law, Scandinavian legal realism, H.L.A. Hart, Translation, On Law and Justice

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