A Case for Constructive Conceptual Explanation
Elgar Studies in Legal Theory
Chapter 3: Conceptual explanation and contingency
Using Hart’s conceptual theory of law as an illustration, this chapter shows how analytical legal theory has internal resources enabling it to characterize law in terms of contingent features and relations, and not just the necessary features and relations it has historically sought to find and explain. This chapter emphasizes in particular that Hart’s conceptual theory of law is best understood not as a report of some familiar intuitions about law manifested in ordinary language use, but instead as a philosophical construction, comprised of several interconnected theses presented to highlight important features and relations of law wherever and whenever it exists.
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