Constructed and Wild Conceptual Necessities in Contemporary Jurisprudence

Jurisprudence: An International Journal of Legal and Political Thought, Volume 6, Issue 2, 2015

17 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2015

Date Written: July 15, 2015

Abstract

I argue here that much of contemporary analytic jurisprudence can be readily construed as a series of interesting and important debates that revolve around two different kinds of concepts.

One line of debate is about the necessary and sufficient conditions that ought to be affixed to the constructed concept of a legal system in order to illuminate the social institutions within the observational purview of legal theorists. A second line addresses, at it were, a wild concept—namely, the concept that animates the law-recognizing behaviour of legal officials. As I shall explain below, there is little factual disagreement among the parties to the first line of debate; rather, this debate is largely a dispute about the appropriate desiderata for constructing a concept that best illuminates the relevant set of social institutions. By contrast, the debates that pertain to the wild concept can be readily characterized as empirical disputes about the structure and content of the concept that animates the behaviour of legal officials.

Keywords: general jurisprudence, conceptual analysis, modality, legal positivism

Suggested Citation

Sciaraffa, Stefan, Constructed and Wild Conceptual Necessities in Contemporary Jurisprudence (July 15, 2015). Jurisprudence: An International Journal of Legal and Political Thought, Volume 6, Issue 2, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2674856

Stefan Sciaraffa (Contact Author)

McMaster University ( email )

1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4
Canada

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