Methodology for theorizing about the nature of law and about doctrinal areas of law

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter provides an overview of issues of methodology for jurisprudence. It focuses on common methodological approaches and recurrent issues in the construction of theories about the nature of law and theories of particular doctrinal areas within law. For a long time, jurisprudential discussions of the nature of law were reflections by thoughtful lawyers who had limited knowledge of philosophy. The chapter discusses Theories of doctrinal areas - for example, theories of contract law, tort law and property law - are common, issues of methodology seem less and are certainly not widely agreed upon. The descriptive claims sometimes include express or implied historical claims that legal doctrines have developed the way they have because there are forces that push legal rules toward greater efficiency. Richard Craswell argues that autonomy-based theories of contract law must fail because one could not derive detailed doctrinal rules from general abstract concepts like autonomy or corrective justice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMeta-theory of Law
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781394163694
ISBN (Print)9781789450743
StatePublished - Aug 23 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© ISTE Ltd 2022.


  • Contract law
  • Descriptive claims
  • Doctrinal rules
  • Jurisprudential discussions
  • Methodological approaches
  • Nature of law
  • Property law
  • Theories of doctrinal areas
  • Tort law


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