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Fuller and Godel: Prophets Against the Evils of Positivism: How the Natural Law is Necessary to Provide Legal Meaning and Consistency

Fuller and Godel: Prophets Against the Evils of Positivism: How the Natural Law is Necessary to Provide Legal Meaning and Consistency

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Title: Fuller and Godel: Prophets Against the Evils of Positivism: How the Natural Law is Necessary to Provide Legal Meaning and Consistency
Author: Garon, Henry James
Abstract: Gödel showed that formal systems which discuss natural numbers cannot be complete or prove their own consistency. Incompleteness in this sense is limited to formal systems, and so is not applicable to law by it own terms.
Looking to the philosophy behind the Incompleteness Theorem, Gödel intended to show that positivism was a bankrupt world-view, and this resonates strongly with Lon Fuller. Fuller is analogous to Gödel in his condemnation of the positivist philosophy because he showed that a system of rules, by itself, was not capable of rendering judgments. A legal system is dependent upon an external morality, but a close inspection reveals that Fuller’s own natural law view was positivistic in its denial of substantive natural law. A legal system consistent with Gödel’s philosophy would seek justice in an objective and non-arbitrary sense, and would rely on a natural law system akin to that described by Aquinas.
Subject: Law
Logic
Philosophy
Keywords: Gödel
Incompleteness Theorem
Legal philosophy
Natural law
Positivism
Fuller
Hart
Hart-Fuller debate
Formal logic
Formal systems
Philosophical logic
Penrose
Consistency
Completeness
Platonism
Aquinas
Vagueness
Formalism
Naturalist fallacy
Telos
Inalienable rights
Practical reason
Manderson
Augustine
Polarity
Morality
Relativism
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/29914
Supervisor: Kierstead, Shelley Margot
Degree: LLM - Master of Laws
Program: Law
Exam date: 2013-11-05
Publish on: 2015-08-28

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