Article Title

The Gold Standard: Legal Theory and Fuller Revisited

Publication Title

Washington University Jurisprudence Review


Just as King Midas had the ability to turn everything he touched into gold, the law can turn everything that it touches into law. This Midasinspired approach to jurisprudence offers a conceptually sophisticated account of legal positivism that should dissolve the debate between inclusive legal positivists and exclusive legal positivists. Yet, not everything that glitters is gold. Despite the explanatory achievements of the Midas approach, it misses crucial aspects about the nature of law. In particular, it overlooks law’s internal morality, which is identified in the work of American legal philosopher Lon Fuller and illustrated through Fuller’s cautionary tale of another king: Rex. Accordingly, my goal in this Article is twofold—to explore the strengths of the Midas approach to legal theory and to critique its foundations using the insights of Lon Fuller’s legal theory.