A tool for those practicing jurisprudence
Forgiveness and Mercy, 1988
Type of paper: Theoretical/Conceptual/Review
Open Access: No
The critical legal studies movement has, in my judgment, raised at least one important issue for jurisprudence and moral philosophy. I am thinking of its claim that traditional moralistic jurisprudence errs in confining its inquiries to formal, abstract, and public doctrines and to the intellectual rationales for those doctrines. According to the “crits,” a full philosophical grasp of law and morality requires an examination of the underlying causal forces that in part generate both the doctrines and the intellectual rationales for them. The person who seeks total enlightenment about morality and the law is invited to look, not just to the ideological superstructure, but to the underlying substructure that gives the superstructure at least a part of its point. This seems to me an invitation that those of us who practice traditional jurisprudence should accept.