Anything Goes An Apology for Parallel Distributed Legal Science
MAASTRICHT EUROPEAN PRIVATE LAW INSTITUTE, WORKING PAPER No. 2016/02
14 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 26, 2016
At first sight doctrinal legal science seems to lack a proper method, and perhaps even a proper purpose. The aim of this contribution is to give an interpretation of doctrinal legal science which makes the value of doctrinal legal science visible. The backbone of the argument consists of two theses. The first thesis is that coherence - in an in law unusual sense - plays a crucial role in legal science. The second thesis is that, as any science, doctrinal legal science is a social enterprise and that this should be taken into account in any attempt to make sense of legal science. Based on these two theses, a picture of doctrinal legal science is given according to which it consists of parallel distributed construction of consistent, comprehensive and expansive sets of legal beliefs. Given this picture, seeming weaknesses of doctrinal legal science turn out to be actual strengths.
Keywords: coherence, justification, legal science, methodology, world-3 knowledge
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