Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 15, number 44, August 1983
Funciones normativas y voluntad de signo
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Roberto J. Vernengo
Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana

Abstract: Legal philosophers and logicians study problems related to the syntactical and semantical aspects of norms, without worrying about the ilocutionary aspects of their use. With Kelsen 's posthumous work, the Allgemeine Theorie der Normen, and the new preoccupations of deontic logicians, it seems that what is called the "normative functions" of norms are becoming a central point of the discussions between logicians and philosophers of law and moralists.

Traditionally, the ilocutionary aspects of norms has been construed as the question of the empirical manifestation of the will, as it is suppossed that every norm expresses somebody's will. Nevertheless, that thesis -although traditional in legal and moral thought- implies some metaphysical presuppositions concerning the ontological status of what is called "the will" which must be brought to light if jurisprudence is going to attain a modern scientific approach. In Kelsen's work it seems clear that the relationship between das Sollen and das Wollen is where that old metaphysical idea regains strength.

It can be found in Thomas Aquinas -and the c1assicalscholastics- a sort of theory on the empirical expression of acts of will, know as signa voluntatis, which keeps close and analogy with the normative functions of modern jurisprudence. Perhaps the theory of positive law, as manifestation of signa voluntatis, would establish a bridge between modern legal positivism and some forms of classical natural law.
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