By Hans Kelsen (auth.)
In his selection of texts, the Editor has been confronted with the tough job of choosing, from one of the author's greater than six hundred courses, these of the best philosophical curiosity. it's mainly the subjects of value-rela tivism and the common sense of norms which have been stored in view. the choice has additionally been guided via the endeavour to reprint, as far as attainable, texts that have now not hitherto seemed in English. now and then, even though, this goal has needed to be discarded, so that it will comprise works of key im portance and likewise the newest expressions of Kelsen's view. as well as the 2 subject matters already pointed out, the Editor has con sidered Kelsen's discussions of the causal precept to be to date valuable of philosophical consciousness, that a few writings on causality and account skill were integrated during this choice of philosophical experiences. OTA WEINBERGER Hans Kelsen died on April nineteenth, 1973. in basic terms his paintings now lives, for the foundation of destiny generations of jurists and philosophers. Graz, twenty fifth April, 1973 OT A WEINBERGER TRANSLATOR'S observe i'm obliged to the Editor for his cautious scrutiny of the interpretation, which has resulted in a couple of corrections and enhancements within the text.
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Extra info for Essays in Legal and Moral Philosophy
The end justifies or - as we also say sanctifies the means. But the means does not justify the end. And it is precisely the justification of the end, that end which is no longer a means to some higher end, the last or highest end, which alone provides ultimate justification for what we do. 15. If anything, especially a human act, is justified only as a means to some particular end, the inevitable question arises, whether the end too can be justified. And to ask it must eventually lead to the acceptance of a last, highest end, which is the true problem of morality in general and of justice in particular.
For the crucial question, what it actually is that everyone may regard as "'his own", remains unanswered. Hence the principle "to everyone hIs own'" is applicable only on the assumption that this question has already been settled beforehand. And it can be decided only by a social order set up as a positive moral or legal order by way of custom or legislation. Thus the formula "To everyone his own" can be used to justify any desired order of society, whether it be capitalist or socialist, democratic or autocratic.
Those who cannot accept such a metaphysical solution of the problem of justice, but yet still uphold the idea of absolute values, in the hope of being able to define them in rational or scientific terms, cheat themselves with the illllsory possibility of finding certain principles in human reason which shall be constitutive of these absolute values - though the latter are actually constituted by the emotional elements of their consciousness. The determination of absolute values in general, and the definition of justice in particular, turn out, when attempted in this fashion, to be utterly empty formulae, by which any social order whatever can be vindicated as just.
Essays in Legal and Moral Philosophy by Hans Kelsen (auth.)