Chapter 3: Methodology of normative legal science
How does one determine what one is legally obliged to do? It is clear that, in the view of legal scholarship that has been defended above, this question cannot be answered by simply relying on the authority of legislatures and the courts. What then, are the factors relevant to answering this question? This chapter argues that the core of the normative approach is that there is not one answer to what legally ought to be. If the law provides rules for a society and the views on how to regulate this society differ – which is necessarily the case – there must also be different views of what ought to be. The academic-legal method must therefore reflect this important insight. It means that legal science is not about physical reality but about the world of ideas. It is a discipline in which arguments for and against various possible solutions to legal problems are identifi ed and thought through. This makes the legal discipline pre-eminently argumentative.
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