A leap into the world of values.
law and transcendental thought in Stammler’s work

Research Project

Rudolph Stammler (1856 -1938) is seldom recognised in today’s academic debates. One of the most interesting aspects of his work is how it brings together and summarises a series of themes and problems that were at the centre of the 19th-century legal discourse. Topics such as legal positivism, natural law, historical materialism, the natural sciences, empiricism, philosophical idealism and the historical school were all taken up in Stammler’s work. While one could call into question the framework of his ideas, above all basing his system on the most sensitive and criticisable elements of Kantian philosophy, this does not diminish the value of reading the work of a jurist who treats a good part of the concerns of the 19th-century debate.

This project not only aims to uncover the flaws in Stammler’s theory, but it also intends to highlight the elements that warrant more attention from both contemporary legal historians and legal theorists. The goal is to show that despite the fragility of his theoretical framework, Stammler’s work should be recognised both as a significant landmark during a transitional period in the law, as Roscoe Pound has rightly noted, and for his pursuit of the autonomy of law as a science, a goal he clearly set for himself.

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