Anything Goes: An Apology for Parallel Distributed Legal Science

Jaap Hage


Doctrinal legal science seems to lack a proper method and purpose. This interpretation clarifies its value. The backbone of the argu- ment consists of two theses. The first is that coherence—in a sense unusu- al in law—plays a crucial role in legal science. The second is that doctrinal legal science is a social enterprise and this should be consid- ered in attempts to understand it. Based on these, a picture of doctrinal legal science is given consisting of parallel distributed constructions of consistent, comprehensive and ex- pansive sets of legal beliefs. Given this, seeming weaknesses of doctri- nal legal science turn out to be actual strengths.

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ISSN: 0824-2577