Defending the possibility of a neutral functional theory of law

I argue that there is methodological space for a functional explanation of the nature of law that does not commit the theorist to a view about the value of that function for society, nor whether law is the best means of accomplishing it. A functional explanation will nonetheless provide a conceptual framework for a better understanding of the nature of law. First I examine the proper role for function in a theory of law and then argue for the possibility of a neutral functional theory, addressing issues raised by Leslie Green, Stephen Perry, Michael Moore and John Finnis.
Keywords Philosophy of Law  Functionalism  Methodology  Jurisprudence
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DOI 10.1093/ojls/gqp001
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PhilPapers Archive Kenneth M. Ehrenberg, Defending the possibility of a neutral functional theory of law
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