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Encyclopaedia, genealogy and tradition in pursuit of pluralist jurisprudence


Allen, JG, Encyclopaedia, genealogy and tradition in pursuit of pluralist jurisprudence, Transnational Legal Theory, 8, (4) pp. 399-406. ISSN 2041-4005 (2017) [Refereed Article]

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

DOI: doi:10.1080/20414005.2017.1415779


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:legal pluralism
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Law in context
Research Field:Legal theory, jurisprudence and legal interpretation
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in law and legal studies
UTAS Author:Allen, JG (Mr Jason Allen)
ID Code:134266
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the Faculty of Law
Deposited On:2019-08-05
Last Modified:2019-11-08

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