Jurisprudence: A Descriptive and Normative Analysis of Law
Jurisprudence For a Free Society is a remarkable contribution to legal theory. In its comprehensiveness & systematic elaboration, it stands among the major theories. It is also the most important jurisprudential statement to emerge in the post-war period. The pioneering work of Lasswell & McDougal on law & policy is already legendary. Most of the work produced by these scholars together & in collaboration with their students represent applications of their basic theory to a wide assortment of international & national legal & policy problems. Now, for the first time, the authoritative statement of their legal philosophy appears as a single volume. In Part I the authors develop their fundamental criteria for a theory about law, including the requirements of clarifying observational standpoint, focus of inquiry & the pertinent intellectual tasks incumbent on the scholar & decisionmaker for determining & achieving common interests. Trends in theories about law, including Natural Law, the Historical School, Positivism, the Sociological Study of Law, American Legal Realism & other contemporary theories, are explored for what they might contribute to the achievement to the authors' conception of an adequate jurisprudence. In Part II, the social process as a whole & the particular value-institutional processes that comprise it are described & analyzed. Because people establish, maintain & change institutions, the dynamics of personality & personality's relation to law is delineated. Part III explores the intellectual tasks of policy thinking, from clarification of values, through description of trend, the scientific examination of conditions, projection of future developments & the invention of alternatives. Part IV examines the structure of decision in a free society, a society in which the achievement of human dignity is confirmed in both word & deed. Six appendices bring together monographs by the authors over a period of forty years which deal, in more detail, with particular matters treated in the body of the book.
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