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.

Conclusion: a look back and a look forward

Michael Giudice

Subjects: law - academic, legal philosophy, legal theory


Throughout this book I have defended the view that analytical jurisprudence need not proceed solely by identifying necessary features and relations of law, and even when it does, it can do so by means other than a priori analysis. I have argued that such a view can be supported by renewed attention to Hart’s philosophically-constructed concept of law, and in general, through development of the idea of constructive conceptual explanation. In Chapter 3 I also suggested that Hart’s philosophically-constructed concept of law can be understood as a set of seven interconnected theses about the nature of law. We should notice, however, that this is not the only way to understand Hart’s theory. Here I will present an important yet complementary alternative, as a means of showing the full range of roles contingency and continuity can play in legal theory. I should note that the aim of this concluding chapter is certainly not to offer the last word, but instead to show where future debates might lie.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information