Rechtshandwerk, Rechtsgemeinschaft und Rechtsidee. Fragmente wertgeprägten Methodendenkens im staatsrechtlichen Werk Heinrich Triepels
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Ulrich M. Gassner rightfully claimed Heinrich Triepel (1868–1946) to be an early predecessor of the 'anti-positivistic consent' prevailing within scholarly discussions of public law in the post-war Federal Republic of Germany. Academically qualified in the era of predominant legal positivism or constructivism (the so-called Begriffsjurisprudenz), Triepel subsequently adapted the Interessenjurisprudenz, originally established by the civil lawyers Philipp Heck and Max v. Rümelin, to the field of constitutional law. By doing so he moderately integrated political and sociological aspects into legal reasoning and can be seen as the missing link between disciplinary tradition and authors like Erich Kaufmann or Rudolf Smend. However, the refusal of legal positivism should be carefully distinguished from Triepel's reaction on the Pure Theory of Law during the Weimar period. As fragments of Pandectism remain present in his writings, this article argues that the reception of Neo-Hegelian metaphysics, though by some authors considered an evolutionary step towards modern legal thought, was initiated by a conservative attempt to immunize the typically German scientific yet practical approach to law against Kelsen's epistemological criticism and relativism. While the inherent rationality of Triepel's pragmatically balanced concept of legal method is acknowledged from a historically contextualising perspective, its applicability to today's constitutional framework is evaluated sceptically.