Internal and external method in the study of law

Law and Philosophy 11 (3):179 - 199 (1992)
Legal theory and scholarship are currently characterized by a division between traditional, doctrinal methods and approaches derived from extra-legal disciplines. This paper proposes a different though related distinction between two methods of understanding law and interpreting authoritative legal texts.Internal method reflects the viewpoint of the participant in a legal system and traditional doctrinal study; it is practical and decision-oriented. Limitations on the range of arguments and interpretations employed are accepted in order to render its results serviceable for practical tasks.
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DOI 10.1007/BF01000641
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