Jurisprudence Or Legal Science?: A Debate about the Nature of Legal Theory

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About A Sociology of Jurisprudence

Amongst these constraints are found not only general metaphysical limitations but also the fundamental principle that one with the capacity to judge is autonomous or, in other words, capable of determining the reasons that form the basis of action. One sees, as soon as autonomy has been introduced into the parameters of knowledge, that law is necessarily connected with every other practical domain. The author shows, in the end, that the issue of knowledge is orthogonal to questions about the inclusion or exclusion of morality, for what really matters is whether the putative grounds of legal validity are appropriate to the generation of knowledge.

The Hart-Fuller Debates on Morality and Law

The outcome is far more integral than much work in current theory: neither an absolute deference to either universal moral standards or practice-independent values nor a complete adherence to conventionality and institutional arrangements will do. In suggesting that the current positivism versus non-positivism debate, when it comes to determining law's nature, misses the crux of the matter, the book aims to provoke a fertile new debate in legal theory. Since all articulate thought has to conform to implicit rules of grammar, it is necessarily normatively structured.

Our Knowledge of the Law

Thus normativity cannot be something external to human thinking that we study from the outside, but is intrinsic to all human practices including the natural sciences. This insight opens up fascinating new lines of inquiry into the character of law and its relations to other normative domains. He rejects those approaches to the nature of law that rest on conventional criteria as well as those that turn on factors altogether independent of practice, developing instead the thesis that objectivity and knowledge emerge from practical activity reflecting the spontaneity of human reason.

In light of this notion of legal cognition as a practical activity directed and constrained by reason, the law is seen as an enduring institution, jurisprudence as a humanistic discipline.

(PDF) Naturalist v Positivist theory | yog mahadeo - niocacompgarfi.cf

A truly important work. It has been said that general jurisprudence is a moribund subject. If this is true, it is regrettable because it means that we have abandoned the kind of critique that is developed through a general quest To resuscitate the subject we need to be guided by and engaged with important questions, as Pavlakos has meritoriously done.


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Dworkin has found that hard to swallow. He [Hart] believed that such a theory is only and purely a description of legal practice. I believe that such a theory is an interpretation of legal practice that makes and rests on moral and ethical claims.

About A Sociology of Jurisprudence

Based on these arguments, Dworkin concludes that they are both engaged in the same enterprise and therefore there is still a dispute about the nature of legal philosophy. However, he claims that he is just doing it better that Hart. There are various speculations about what was really at dispute between Hart and Dworkin, and this is evidenced by the enormous amount of academic literature on the issue.

We will in turn focus on arguments that claim they were engaged in: a completely different enterprises, on one hand, and b differing views of the same enterprise, on the other. Jurisprudence: Theory and Context 4th Edition. Taking Rights Seriously. Central Issues in Jurisprudence 3rd Edition.

The Concept of Law 2nd Edition with a Postscript ed. Bullock and J. New York: Oxford University Press, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Jules L. Textbook on Jurisprudence 3rd Edition. London: Blackstone Press Limited, The Concept of Law. Class Lecture.

Our Knowledge of the Law

University of Manchester, Manchester, England. Issues in Contemporary Philosophy.


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R Gavison. Oxford: Clarendon Press, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. Legal Theories. S D Samar Dehghan Author.


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