Coherence and determinacy are both apparent desiderata for bodies of law and legal systems. Unfortunately, in legal systems of any complexity, increasing the degree of one invariably brings about a lessening of the other. For theories of law - such as Ronald Dworkin's - that emphasize the importance of coherence in judicial reasoning, while requiring as a condition of legitimacy that legal rights pre-exist judicial decisions, this must be an unwelcome fact.
The Antinomy of Coherence and DeterminacyIowa Law Review
Citation InformationWilliam A. Edmundson, The Antinomy of Coherence and Determinacy, 82 Iowa L. Rev. 1 (1996).