Analytic Jurisprudence in Time
Philosophy of Law as an Integral Part of Philosophy: Essays on the Jurisprudence of Gerald J. Postema (Thomas Bustamante & Thiago Lopes Decat eds., 2020 Forthcoming)
27 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2020
Date Written: March 11, 2020
The dominant view within analytic jurisprudence sees it as aiming to provide an account of the “nature” of law, as it exists beyond time and place. Against this background, this essay considers the role time plays in jurisprudence at three levels: First, law and jurisprudence exist in time, and have a history; second, at least in common-law systems precedent ties present law to its past; and third, at the most general level, I ask whether law’s authority can be understood without taking time into account. On all three levels, I argue that law is connected with time in ways that are insufficiently appreciated in much of the work dedicated to timeless jurisprudence. While others, Gerald Postema among them, have recognized the significance of time to law and jurisprudence, this essay aims to show how they fit a naturalistic approach to jurisprudence.
Keywords: jurisprudence, legal positivism, common law theory, philosophy of history, Gerald Postema
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