Ratio and Voluntas: The Tension Between Reason and Will in Law, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ratio and Voluntas

The Tension Between Reason and Will in Law, 1st Edition

By Kaarlo Tuori


366 pages

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Paperback: 9781138249882
pub: 2016-09-09
Hardback: 9781409420132
pub: 2010-12-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315603629
pub: 2016-04-08
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From the ancient beginnings of Western legal tradition, law has been conceived as traversed by a fundamental tension between power (will) and reason. This volume examines the tension between these two poles, 'ratio and voluntas' in modern law. Part I focuses on three instructive phases in the history of the law's ratio. Part II examines the way legal scholarship, especially doctrinal research (legal dogmatics), can and should contribute to the law's coherence. Part III explores the role of constitutional law in managing the tension between law's voluntas and ratio. The final chapter discusses the implications the growth of transnational law may have on the relationship between ratio and voluntas. The study builds on the views of the distinctive features of the ideal-typical mature modern legal system as presented in the author's previous work, Critical Legal Positivism (Ashgate 2002).


'This is a profound book, with a serious, characteristically continental theoretical concern with "legal dogmatics" and an overarching emphasis on the hermeneutics of the law, on its rootedness in tradition as underlying both its symbolic function and value. It navigates through considerable complexity with theoretical acuity and imagination, in the best tradition of academic scientific discipline.' Emilios Christodoulidis, University of Glasgow, UK

About the Author

Kaarlo Tuori is Professor of Jurisprudence, Director of the Centre of Excellence in the Foundations of European Law and Polity, Helsinki University. He has published widely on aspects of Legal Philosophy.

About the Series

Applied Legal Philosophy

Applied Legal Philosophy
The principal objective of this series is to encourage the publication of books which adopt a theoretical approach to the study of particular areas or aspects of law, or deal with general theories of law in a way which is directed at issues of practical, moral and political concern in specific legal contexts. The general approach is both analytical and critical and relates to the socio-political background of law reform issues. This series includes studies of all the main areas of law, presented in a manner which relates to the concerns of specialist legal academics and practitioners. Each book makes an original contribution to an area of legal study while being comprehensible to those engaged in a wide variety of disciplines. Their legal content is principally Anglo-American, but a wide-ranging comparative approach is encouraged and authors are drawn from a variety of jurisdictions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Jurisprudence