This chapter returns to the method and purpose of analytical jurisprudence. It discusses the way analytical legal theorists have attempted to identify what they claim are necessary features of an admittedly contingent concept of law. It argues that the problems associated with lack of specification of the connection to actual social situations demonstrate how narrowly bootstrapped analytical legal theories are, supposing as they have that adequate data and experience of life under law are in hand such that a general jurisprudence can be advanced. It is not that bootstrapping itself is at fault, but only the way it has been carried out. The chapter offers a renewed view of the perspective of analytical legal theory, which emphasizes the conditions under which bootstrapping must be carried out in order to achieve a general jurisprudence that is balanced in its conceptual elaboration and descriptive-explanatory responsiveness to situations of life under law.
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