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2019 | 6(1) | 2-8

Article title

The motivational role of intuitive law in the views of Leon Petrażycki



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A lot of controversy has arisen around the view expressed by Leon Petrażycki who proposes a division into intuitive and positive law. This division is not aimed, however, at contraposing that which is established by norms and that which could be referred to as desirable or ideal law. The content of intuitive law, just like that of positive – or statutory – law, is often equally irrational, barbarian, and backward. What Petrażycki has in mind is rather a significant, substantial difference between the two. It consists in a difference in the intellectual content of legal experience. Intuitive law does not contain any norms, but an awareness of the obligation to act in a certain way which is independent from any authorities. Intuitive law is individual and changeable, as its contents depend on one’s personal character. A certain similarity in intuitive legal experiences is, according to Petrażycki, largely dependent on the living conditions in the family and social group.




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