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International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

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A priori of the law and values in the social ontology of Wilhelm Schapp and Adolf Reinach

Francesca De Vecchi

pp. 279-316

In my paper, I investigate the problem of whether, and how, in Schapp's (Die neue Wissenschaft vom Recht. Eine phänomenologische Untersuchung) and Reinach's (Die apriorischen Grundlagen des burgerlichen Rechts) theories of a priori structures of the law, values can be connected with the law in an a priori relation. I suggest that, ultimately, Schapp's foundation of the law in the evaluations of values is not as such an a priori foundation, while Reinach's eidetics of the law involves genuine a priori connections, but they solely concern the being of the social and legal entities and are not grounded in values. Nevertheless, I argue that Schapp's theory of the a priori foundations of the law in values entails an analysis of the ontological status of values, of the sociality of values and of the sharing of values from which emerges an account of the existential relation between law and values that is very significant for social ontology. I point out that such account opens up a quite fruitful perspective on the existential foundation of the law, grounded on the essential tendency of human beings to enjoy values to the full. I underline that this perspective represents a completely new and compelling inquiry by social ontology into the existential quality of social entities and into the greater or lesser degrees of vitality, fullness, fairness, etc. of social entities. I suggest that this is a crucial point which has to be highlighted not only in order to do justice to Schapp, but also to devote greater attention to the needs of the Life-world in social ontology.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-27692-2_13

Full citation:

De Vecchi, F. (2016)., A priori of the law and values in the social ontology of Wilhelm Schapp and Adolf Reinach, in A. Salice & H. B. Schmid (eds.), The phenomenological approach to social reality, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 279-316.

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