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
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
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