Law is a system of rules that governs human behavior. Its functions include solving coordination problems, setting standards of desirable behavior, proclaiming symbolic expressions of communal values, and resolving disputes concerning facts and values. However, these functions have very little to do with its coercive aspects or sanction-imposing functions.
Legal theory is a branch of law that includes a broad range of topics. The goal of the Legal Theory Series is to provide authoritative reassessment of current legal theory. The books cover a wide range of topics, from empirical questions to interdisciplinary approaches to the subject. In addition to providing an authoritative overview of the topic, these books address the foundations of specific areas of legal doctrine.
Legal theory is concerned with the nature of law and how people interpret it. Its aim is to discover the determinants of law and how these determinants influence the interpretation of a legal text. It is also concerned with the linguistic meanings of legal texts. It does not, however, seek to provide guidance regarding the proper interpretation of laws or discretionary decisions.
Conceptual analysis of law is an important project in contemporary legal theory. It has two main goals. The first is to identify the nature of the concept in question. The second goal is to identify the relevant state of mind. To do this, a proper conceptual analysis must include the nature of the representation and its content. It may also involve beliefs and dispositions.
A conceptual analysis of law also relies on metaphysical arguments to support its claim. Its basic premise is that law and morality are conceptually related. In other words, we can define law as an expression of our moral values, or we can say that the concepts are shaped by moral values.
Prescriptive view of methodology
A prescriptive view of methodology in law is a view that seeks to specify a desirable notion of law. It differs from the constructive view, which is associated with Dworkin’s work. A constructive view of methodology seeks to describe and interpret legal practice in a manner that is constructive and does not rely on prior knowledge or preconceptions. While these approaches are not necessarily incompatible, they do pose different challenges.
The reductionist view is more problematic. It maintains that the normative character of law is a result of the assumption that subjects will want to avoid punishment. This view does not address the issue of assessing the merit of law, which is an important issue for legal reasoning.
Platonist view of concepts
Platonism challenges the traditional conception of law as a set of conventions. It asserts that the force of law is inherent in a mystical foundation. It holds that the idea of justice is an object of truth and the right to pursue it. In contrast, conventionalists think that law is the product of human conventions and that the truth is not a thing.
In the Platonist view, law and justice are rooted in the truth of justice, which is a central principle in all human endeavors. This, in turn, underlies the force of law.
Functions of law in society
The role of law in society can be categorized into three main functions: maintaining order, maintaining the respect for accepted standards of public morality, and providing a substratum for social-economic emancipation. According to Pollock, law is fundamentally an instrument of order and community, and every community has its own means for declaring, administering, and enforcing its laws. These means are generally public bodies appointed or recognized by the community.
Law’s functions are based on normative principles, which are the basis for its application in society. For example, when we consider the role of the UN Security Council and international courts, we can ask how effective these institutions are in enforcing international law. We should also note that the UN Security Council is limited in its enforcement because of its frequent use of the veto. As a result, a significant part of the enforcement phase is taken up by other non-international actors, including domestic courts.