Methodology and the Articulation of Insight: Some Lessons from MacCormick's 'Institutions of Law'
LAW AS INSTITUTIONAL NORMATIVE ORDER, Zenon Bankowski, Maksymilian Del Mar, eds., Ashgate, 2008
12 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2008
This contribution to a collection on Neil MacCormick's INSTITUTIONS OF LAW explores the general relationship between theoretical methodology and analytical insight through exploring issues regarding the general enterprise of intellectual inquiry, the value of conceptual analysis, and the role of theoretical methodology. A broader portrayal of conceptual analysis is advanced than that allowed by Brian Leiter in his embrace of naturalism. It recognizes four distinct roles for conceptual analysis: (1) initial elucidatory expository analysis; (2) secondary expository analysis; (3) exploratory explanatory analysis; (4) normatively exploratory analysis. From this broader perspective, observations are made on epistemology, particular problems in conceptual anlaysis, and the possibility of theoretical disagreement.
Through linking sound methodology to an appropriate role for conceptual analysis, a number of interventions are made in the contemporary debate over methodology in jurisprudence, engaging with the views of Dworkin, Leiter and Dickson. Emphasis is laid on the significant part to be played by the particular experiential base relating to the subject matter under investigation in the articulation of valuable insight. The extent to which MacCormick's work illustrates and promotes this approach is considered in some detail.
Keywords: methodology, conceptual analysis, epistemology, naturalism, scientism, MacCormick, Leiter, Dickson, Dworkin
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