Olivecrona, Karl (1897–1980)

A dominating juristic figure in his native Sweden and widely recognized abroad, Karl Olivecrona was a leader of the movement known as Scandinavian legal realism or the Uppsala School of legal philosophy. He studied law at Uppsala University, where the antimetaphysical teachings of the philosopher Axel Hägerström (1868–1939) strongly influenced him. As a professor of procedural law at Lund University from 1933 to 1964, Olivecrona adopted Hägerström's view that rights and duties are fictitious entities having no correspondence with reality. Olivecrona found the primary significance of legal ideas in their psychological power. This power is possible due to the popular preexisting dispositions of citizens socialized to live under a stable legal order and the consistent availability of the state's monopoly of force to support legal ...

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