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Encyclopaedia, genealogy and tradition in pursuit of pluralist jurisprudence

Allen, JG ORCID: 0000-0003-1046-9040 2017 , 'Encyclopaedia, genealogy and tradition in pursuit of pluralist jurisprudence' , Transnational Legal Theory, vol. 8, no. 4 , 399–406 , doi: 10.1080/20414005.2017.1415779.

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Abstract

This article explores the different avenues for pursuing pluralist jurisprudence. Using the critique of Neil MacCormick’s ‘institutional’ pluralism (i.e. that it lapses into methodological monism) as a departure point, I explore the presuppositions and pre-commitments of genealogical and empirico-positivist approaches to legal studies. By reference to Alasdair MacIntyre’s Gifford Lectures on encyclopaedia, genealogy, and tradition, I defend an empiricopositivist view of law and legal order, in which legal systems and their constituent entities exist as ‘institutional facts’. Following MacIntyre, genealogy is ultimately unable to subject itself to its own methods and must devolve into a post-truth contest for power. However, a genealogical approach can enrich scholarship, revealing the inherent limits of theory and tempering the excesses of encyclopedic canonism. I suggest MacIntyre’s preferred approach, tradition in the sense of a craft guild, as a third way worthy of consideration.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Allen, JG
Keywords: legal pluralism
Journal or Publication Title: Transnational Legal Theory
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 2041-4005
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/20414005.2017.1415779
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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