Facts and Norms in Law

Facts and Norms in Law

Interdisciplinary Reflections on Legal Method

Edited by Sanne Taekema, Bart van Klink and Wouter de Been

Facts and Norms in Law: Interdisciplinary Reflections on Legal Method presents an innovative collection of essays on the relationship between descriptive and normative elements in legal inquiry and legal practice. What role does empirical data play in law? New insights in philosophy, the social sciences and the humanities have forced the relationship between facts and norms on to the agenda, especially for legal scholars doing interdisciplinary work. This timely volume carefully combines critical perspectives from a range of different disciplinary traditions and theoretical positions.

Chapter 1: Introduction: Facts, norms and interdisciplinary research

Wouter de Been, Sanne Taekema and Bart van Klink

Subjects: law - academic, legal philosophy, legal theory, research methods in law


The introductory chapter aims to clarify current debates on facts and norms, by outlining different positions and the points of contention between them, and by mapping a number of strong theoretical positions on the relationship between facts, norms and values. These positions include the recent contributions to the debate on fact, norms and values by Brian Leiter and Hilary Putnam, as well as the recent insights from legal hermeneutics. These strong positions are meant to provide an overview, a broad vista, of current debates that can help us place the contributions in the other parts of the book. The aim is to sketch the setting of contemporary legal debates on the extent to which factual judgments influence normative judgments and vice versa.