The Pros And Cons Of Legal Rules

985 Words4 Pages
Legal rules are ethical rules or norms, for every legal pattern of conduct can be expressed in a proposition with the predicate 'ought to be'. At the same time legal patterns of conduct are supported by centralized power and its coordinating activity, and not merely by the mutual social interaction which produces and reinforces the ethical group-conviction[ Timasheff, 1939, p. 15]. Timasheff based his conception of law as the union of ethics and power on four propositions: 1) legal rules are recognized by group members; 2) legal rules are obeyed by group members; 3) legal rules are recognized by the members of active power centers; and 4) legal rules are supported by the members of active power centers[ Timasheff, 248]. Timaheff's second and…show more content…
Timasheff noted that modern jurists often deny the proposition that legal rules are obeyed. They assert that legal rules are not commands, but directions for proper conduct. Timasheff rejected this assertion on the ground that if legal rules are merely "directions," they are indistinguishable from friendly advice. The only way to make this important distinction, Timasheff argued, is by reference to power structures: "legal rules always express dominance and therefore, they are commands"[ Timasheff 253]. Timasheff identified three specific motivations for obeying legal rules: the direct imperative motivation, the direct attributive motivation, and the indirect motivation[ Timasheff 253]. For our purposes here, the first is the most pertinent. Timasheff contended that the roots, instruments and forms of the direct imperative motivation to obey the law are exactly the same as the roots, instruments and forms of obedience within power structures, i.e., dominance, submission, unequal social interaction and power relationships[Timasheff,
Get Access