Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 13, number 37, April 1981
Juicios de valor, positivismo jurídico y relativismo moral
[Value Judgments, Legal Positivism, and Moral Relativism]
Javier Esquivel
Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas
Facultad de Derecho
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México


The main purpose of this article is to analyze the distinctions between descriptive, prescriptive and evaluative statements and to demonstrate how certain mistakes, made in relation with this distinctions, are related to some assumptions of legal positivism, particularly to that of moral relativism.

Legal positivism is characterized as holding that the study of law is to be merely descriptive, since neither norms nor value judgments can be objectively assessed, according to Kelsen. Analyzing the distinctions in question it is found that his arguments in favor of moral relativism can be objected. If moral relativism is not true, there seems to be no reason to hold that Legal Science in particular and Social Sciences in general should not include value judgments.


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