Legal positivism is essentially the opposite of natural law in that it does away with any questions of morality and ethics. The only time the validity of law is to be examined, is usually only regarding issues of valid enactment and little else. Legal positivists look at socially recognised facts and events – that is, has the law been enacted by the recognised authority in the correct manner.

In a nutshell the theory rests on the notion that the law is to be followed, period. This is not to say, particularly in comparison to natural law, that the positivist has no use for morality or ethics or that those should effect lawmaking, they merely reject that laws must pass a moral or ethical test to be valid or recognised.


Prominent Thinkers:

Thomas Hobbes     Sir Francis Bacon     David Hume     Jeremy Benthem     John Austin     Christopher Columbus Langdell

See Also:

Evolutionary Legal Theory     Legal Historicism      National Socialism     Natural Law