Reference : Positivisme juridique, relativisme axiologique et démocratie : humanisme et unité dan...
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Arts & humanities : Philosophy & ethics
Positivisme juridique, relativisme axiologique et démocratie : humanisme et unité dans la pensée de Hans Kelsen
[en] Legal Positivism, Moral Relativism and Democracy: Humanism and Unity in the thinking of Hans Kelsen
Lefort, Elisabeth mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
University of Luxembourg, ​​Luxembourg
Docteur en Philosophie
Sosoe, Lukas mailto
Maesschalck, Marc mailto
[en] Legal Positivism ; Moral Relativism ; Democracy
[en] The work of Hans Kelsen has been largely discussed without the unity between its different questions has been plainly revealed. This unity is what we aim to demonstrate. In our opinion, an attentive and critical reading of Kelsen’s late works allows such a possibility since it is in these works that the scholar himself tries to achieve this unification. To be able to understand this try and its sense, one must read Kelsen’s late works with the perspective of the moral relativism he defends. Indeed, this relativism can be interpreted as a symptom of modernity. Moreover, it can be defined as a modern humanism. In the Kelsenian thought, what links the legal positivism, the moral relativism and the political conception of democracy is the concept of equality that underlies them implicitly. Under this perspective, the Kelsenian moral relativism reveals itself as an agnosticism that is a philosophy of perpetual questioning. This interpretation is what allows one to render explicit the systematic character of the Kelsenian work. Moreover, such a reading render also explicit the importance of this work. Kelsenian agnosticism expresses the essence of modern philosoph. Since it defines itself as a questioning, it becomes the condition of possibility of both an authentic recognition of the Other and of democracy itself.

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