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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Understanding the Nature of Law: A Case for Constructive Conceptual Explanation


ISBN13: 9781784718800
Published: June 2015
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £80.00



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Understanding the Nature of Law explores methodological questions about how best to explain law. Among these questions, one is central: is there something about law which determines how it should be theorized?

Michael Giudice presents the problem: several methods suggest themselves as suitable to understanding law, however, each method claims unique importance with no need of others. A solution is offered in two key claims.

First, many conceptual theories of law are best understood not as the result of conceptual analysis, but as constructive conceptual explanations, emphasizing a crucial role for revision and expansion of ordinary concepts, in ways responsive to new problems and new phenomena. Second, conceptual theories of law can and ought to identify necessary as well as contingent features in the construction of conceptual explanations of law.

This novel book explains the importance of conceptual explanation by situating its methods and goals in relation to, rather than in competition with, social scientific and moral theories of law.

The book will be of primary interest to both students and academics in legal, political, and moral philosophy. It will also be of interest to students and academics working in the social sciences who are interested in questions about the distinctive character of law.

Subjects:
Jurisprudence
Contents:
Preface
PART I. BEYOND CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS
1. Analytical jurisprudence and its discontents
2. Constructive conceptual explanation
3. Conceptual explanation and contingency
4. Analytical jurisprudence and necessity
PART II. ILLUSTRATIONS
5. The contingent relation between invalidity and unconstitutionality
6. Conceptual explanation of European Union law
PART III. CONTINUITY IN LEGAL THEORY
7. Imperialism and difference in legal theory
8. Participant understanding and legal theory
9. Continuity in legal theory
Conclusion: A look back and a look forward
Index