Farewell to Conceptual Analysis (in Jurisprudence)

USC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-2

27 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2012

See all articles by Andrei Marmor

Andrei Marmor

Cornell University - Law School

Date Written: January 23, 2012


I have two main purposes in this essay: First, to show that conceptual analysis is not nearly as central to legal philosophy as typically assumed. The main methodological thrust of analytical jurisprudence, and in particular of legal positivism, is reductionism, not conceptual analysis. Consequently, the main objections to legal positivism are best seen as arguing against the possibility of reduction. Second, I aim to show that the interpretivist challenges to analytical jurisprudence bark up the wrong tree in this respect, and actually fail to engage with the methodological stance they aim to replace. Along the way I offer a partial defense of reductionism and the limited essentialism that comes with it.

Suggested Citation

Marmor, Andrei, Farewell to Conceptual Analysis (in Jurisprudence) (January 23, 2012). USC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1990401

Andrei Marmor (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/faculty/bio_andrei_marmor.cfm

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