Psychological and realistic concepts of law: Petrażycki and Olivecrona

Dawid Bunikowski


The article concerns a concept of law in Leon Petrażycki’s theory and Scandinavian legal realism (Uppsala school) represented by Karl Olivecrona. The author, explaining the concept of law, seeks connections between Petrażycki’s theory and the ideas forwarded by the Scandinavians. According to Petrażycki, law is a psychological fact – a legal emotion in human mind, mentality. On the other hand, according to Olivecrona, law is a fact – a human behaviour which is determined by reality in the mind. The conclusion for lawyers is that law should be treated not only as a normative fact (legal texts) or axiological fact (values, principles), but also as a psychological fact (Petrażycki – legal emotions), and a behavioural fact (Olivecrona – human behaviour and reality in human mind). Polish theory of law and practice lack considerations of this type.


a fact, force, law, psychology


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Print ISSN: 1643-8175, Online ISSN: 2451-0955, DOI prefix: 10.19197, Principal Contact: