Conceptual Jurisprudence and Socio-Legal Studies

Rutgers Law Journal, Vol. 32, 2000

Minnesota Public Law Research Paper No. 02-1

14 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2001

See all articles by Brian Bix

Brian Bix

University of Minnesota Law School


This article was part of a conference on Brian Tamanaha's book, Realistic Socio-Legal Theory (Oxford, 1997). This article summarizes how Tamanaha's work seeks to merge the sociology of law with conceptual legal theory, though not always fully successfully. Tamanaha does not appreciate the extent to which the two tasks - sociology and conceptual analysis - may have different aims, and therefore their theories will be constructed along different and inconsistent lines. The article also considers the extent to which conceptual theories do or do not need to make ambitious metaphysical claims, and the connections between conceptual theories in jurisprudence and empirical data about the way law is practiced.

Note: This is a description of the paper and not the actual abstract.

Suggested Citation

Bix, Brian, Conceptual Jurisprudence and Socio-Legal Studies. Rutgers Law Journal, Vol. 32, 2000, Minnesota Public Law Research Paper No. 02-1, Available at SSRN:

Brian Bix (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

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