On how the debate about what is law should proceed in the face of the methodology conflict in jurisprudence
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This thesis focuses on the contemporary literature in Anglo-American analytic jurisprudence that takes answering the question â what is law?â as the primary goal. Agreement about what is lawâ that is, agreement about which theory of law is accurate and adequateâ is necessary to achieve the primary goal. Theorists have come to acknowledge that no such agreement exists due to their disagreements over two subjects: (S1) what is law and (S2) what methodology theorists should follow to produce an accurate and adequate theory of law. I refer to theoristsâ disagreement about S2 as the methodology conflict. Today, theorists advance towards the primary goal in two different directions: directly or indirectly. The direct course labors to accomplish agreement about which theory of law is accurate and adequate. The indirect course toils to accomplish agreement about which methodology a theory of law should satisfy to be accurate and adequate, before advancing to the direct course. If one course is the correct or best way to achieve the primary goal, it is imprudent for theorists to continue to work towards the same goal in separate directions. How, then, should theorists proceed? Answering this question, loosely put, is the main objective of this thesis. I argue that theorists must resolve the methodology conflict first to be able to achieve the primary goal of jurisprudence (i.e., to reach a common answer to the question â what is law?â ). I reveal that the methodology conflict poses a serious problem for theorists working to reach an agreement about S1: namely, theorists cannot agree about which legal theory is accurate and adequate unless they agree about which methodology a legal theory should satisfy to be accurate and adequate. Next, I settle the methodology conflict. I show that a particular synthesis of the current two approaches to resolve theoristsâ disagreement about S2 â imperialism and relativismâ provides a way out of the methodology conflict. I explain that the solution to the methodology conflict is a reasonable four-step examination process that enables theorists to engage in meaningful debate about S1 and S2 and work more successfully towards achieving the primary goal.
Bergeron, Gregory Michael (2008). On how the debate about what is law should proceed in the face of the methodology conflict in jurisprudence. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from