Looking for the Nature of Law: On Shapiro's Challenge

40 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2011

See all articles by Damiano Canale

Damiano Canale

Bocconi University - Department of Law

Date Written: October 20, 2011


This essay critically focuses on the methodological aspects of Scott Shapiro's book "Legality." Indeed Shapiro's book sets out several original theses about not only the nature of law and the main problems of jurisprudence, but also about how the nature of law can be discovered by jurisprudence. In this sense, the method of inquiry adopted by Shapiro can be considered as one of the most challenging outcomes of his research.

The essay is divided into two parts. In the first two sections I shall analyze Shapiro's jurisprudential approach by focusing on its resort to metaphysical vocabulary, conceptual analysis, constructive reasoning, and institutional explanation of law. In the following sections I will consider some of the problems that this approach gives rise to and outline an alternative view on the nature of law stimulated by the foregoing discussion of Shapiro's work.

Keywords: Jurisprudence, Philosophy of law, Conceptual analysis

JEL Classification: K00, K10

Suggested Citation

Canale, Damiano, Looking for the Nature of Law: On Shapiro's Challenge (October 20, 2011). Bocconi Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1954748. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1954748 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1954748

Damiano Canale (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Law ( email )

Via Roentgen, 1
Milan, 20136

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