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The Province of Jurisprudence Democratized$
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Allan C. Hutchinson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195343250

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195343250.001.0001

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The Province of Jurisprudence Predetermined

The Province of Jurisprudence Predetermined

(p.89) Chapter Five The Province of Jurisprudence Predetermined
The Province of Jurisprudence Democratized

Allan C. Hutchinson

Oxford University Press

The attractions of the scientific method have been given a new lease on jurisprudential life. The lack of scientific ambition is considered by some to be the failing of contemporary legal theory, and there is currently a marked effort to take scientific inquiry more seriously and to celebrate the birth of a New Legal Realism. By extending science's data-rich and causality-dominant methods to law's social practices and adjudicative routines, the hope is that jurisprudence will deliver some of the secure truths and dependable knowledge that have so far eluded traditional analytical jurisprudence. This chapter challenges this scientific turn towards the tried-and-true methods of natural science as being entirely the wrong direction; a naturalized jurisprudential methodology is less a scientific undertaking and more a scientistic smash-and-grab. Moreover, contrary to the epistemological claims of its supporters, such a scientific rendition of analytical jurisprudence is far from a turn away from morality.

Keywords:   legal theory, legal realism, scientific inquiry, analytical jurisprudence, morality

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