Modern jurisprudence embodies two distinct traditions of thought about the nature of law. The first adopts a scientific approach which assumes that all legal phenomena possess universal characteristics that may be used in the analysis of any type of legal system. The main task of the legal philosopher is to disclose and understand such characteristics, which are thought to be capable of establishment independently of any moral or political values which the law might promote, and of any other context-dependent features of legal systems. Another form of jurisprudential reflection views the law as a complex form of moral arrangement which can only be analysed from within a system of reflective moral and political practices. Rather than conducting a search for neutral standpoints or criteria, this second form of theorising suggests that we uncover the nature and purpose of the law by reflecting on the dynamic properties of legal practice. Can legal philosophy aspire to scientific values of reasoning and truth? Is the idea of neutral standpoints an illusion? Should legal theorising be limited to the analysis of particular practices? Are the scientific and juristic approaches in the end as rigidly distinct from one another as some have claimed? In a series of important new essays the authors of Jurisprudence or Legal Science? attempt to answer these and other questions about the nature of jurisprudential thinking, whilst emphasising the connection of such 'methodological' concerns to the substantive legal issues which have traditionally defined the core of jurisprudential speculation. The list of contributors includes R. Alexy, S. Coyle, J. Gorman, C. Heidemann, P. Leith, J. Morison, G. Pavlakos and V. Rodriguez-Blanco.
This is a volume that is important and often exciting...we have a book in our hands that is worth reading and reflecting on. Social and Legal Studies 16 (3) Reading this book - carefully and critically - helps in clarifying these complex relationships between method and substance and between legal philosophy and other areas of philosophy, issues about which legal philosophers are still much in the shade. Danny Priel Modern Law Review 2006 ...one of the main attractions of Jurisprudence or Legal Science is that it invites the reader to think along with the authors. Jaap Hage Rechtsfilosofie en Rechtstheorie Oct 06 If we focus on this last opposition (legal theory as a study of the nature of law vs. legal theory as a situated enquiry of specific legal practices) we are in the best condition to both have a full grasp of the dilemma dealt with in Jurisprudence or Legal Science? and appreciate the originality of the contributions comprised in this volume. Stefano Bertea Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly Oct 06 As a whole, the contributions of the volume demonstrate at a high level the complexity of the topic as well as the various jurisprudential problems that are linked to it. Jan Sieckman Archiv fuer Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie Oct 06