Understanding the Nature of Law

Understanding the Nature of Law

A Case for Constructive Conceptual Explanation

Elgar Studies in Legal Theory

Michael Giudice

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? 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.

Chapter 2: Constructive conceptual explanation

Michael Giudice

Subjects: law - academic, legal philosophy, legal theory

Abstract

This chapter assesses the net impact of the objections introduced in the first chapter. While parts of these objections can be met, more importantly they reveal the need for analytical legal theorists to move beyond conceptual analysis of law and towards constructive conceptual explanation of law. Conceptual analysis attempts to uncover the implicit features of a particular culture’s self-understanding of law, and so is inherently conservative, while constructive conceptual explanation seeks to modify or develop new and improved conceptual explanations of law for use in characterizing and understanding the social reality of law.

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