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Underhill Moore\u27s Legal Science: Its Nature and Significance

By F. S. C. Northrop


THE legal science of Underhill Moore was the product of the twomajor movements of moder legal thought: legal realism and sociologicaljurisprudence. It demonstrates both the strength and the limitationsof these two legal theories. His work had this somewhat paradoxicalcharacter because he substituted scientifically exact methods anddeeds for the vivid but unverifiable, pseudo-descriptive prose in whichthese two movements had all too often been previously expressed.When this was done the actual capability of a legal science grounded ina realistic application of scientific methods to social and legal facts wasrevealed to be quite different from what many earlier proponents hadclaimed. Consequently, more than anyone else Underhill Mooredemonstrated precisely what legal realism and sociological jurisprudenceas traditionally conceived can and cannot do. And for this reasonhis work probably marks not merely the culmination of the jurisprudenceof the recent past but also a turning point in legal science generally.It is as important, therefore, as a clue to the legal science of theimmediate future as it is to an estimation of the remarkable originalcontributions of Underhill Moore to legal and social science that webecome clear about the aim, the method and the results of the uniquesociology of law which he created and applied

Topics: legal realism, sociological jurisprudence, Jurisprudence, Law, Legal Writing and Research
Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 1950
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