CONVENORS: LORENZ KAEHLER, Vitaly Ogleznev, Kenneth Himma
The workshop shall address the ontological question whether and in which sense law exists. Intuitively, it seems quite clear that there is law and that it belongs hence to the set of entities which exist. However, the concept of existence seems to be clearer for material things or events then for abstract objects such as norms. Whereas one can distinguish between existing and non-existing, merely fictitious material entities, it is less clear whether the same distinction applies to legal norms. Does a norm which lost its validity cease to exist (as theories that equate existence with validity suggest)? If not, does a norm which is merely part of a legislative proposal already exist because there is something to which one can refer and which one can discuss although it is not valid yet? Can one justifiably maintain that before a norm was created there already was the possibility of its existence? Or shall one rather, pace Meinong, distinguish the existence from other types of being and hence deny that law exists but still maintain that there is law? The workshop invites contributions about these and related ontological questions of law. They shall be approached from various perspectives, including positivist and non-positivist ones.