Concepts, Terms, and Fields of Enquiry

Legal Theory 4 (2):187-205 (1998)
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This article considers the role of conceptual analysis in jurisprudence. In responding to the earlier article of Brian Bix, Conceptual Questions and Jurisprudence , 1 Legal Theory 465 , it is agreed that the purpose of the theorist must be identified in order to evaluate the merits of the practice of conceptual analysis, but the approach taken here differs from that proposed by Bix. In particular, it is suggested that Bix is wrong to limit stipulation within conceptual analysis to a default option, and Bix's suggestion that jurisprudential analysis lacks an empirical basis is challenged. The approach developed in this article relies on a clarification of the relationships among terms, concepts, and fields of enquiry. It explores the different relationships that can exist between concepts. Seven general principles of the practice of conceptual analysis are expounded, and the proper scope of an evaluative element within conceptual analysis is considered. A final section briefly examines some of the wider implications of the approach to conceptual analysis proposed in the article



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Andrew Halpin
Swansea University

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References found in this work

IX.—Essentially Contested Concepts.W. B. Gallie - 1956 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 56 (1):167-198.
The Case for Animal Rights.L. W. Sumner - 1986 - Noûs 20 (3):425-434.
Conceptual Questions and Jurisprudence.Brian Bix - 1995 - Legal Theory 1 (4):465-479.

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