Aldo Schiavello

Analytical Legal Science from Birth to Crisis

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This paper proposes a critical presentation of the analytical approach to legal science. After an introductory paragraph in which a definition of the notions involved (i.e.: «legal science» and «analytical approach») will be offered and some ambiguities affecting the discourses on legal knowldege will be disentangled, the next paragraphs will be devoted to a survey of the main analytical conceptions of legal science. The focus will be in particular on: (1) Alf Ross’s legal realism and his neo-positivistic approach to legal science; (2) Norberto Bobbio and the Italian analytical legal philosophical school, which firmly tie legal science to language analysis; (3) Herbert Hart and the analytical philosophy of ordinary language, and, eventually, (4) Ronald Dworkin and the interpretive turn. In the last paragraph I draw a general conclusion: legal science’s ambition to be pure and detached from its object (the law) is bound to be frustrated.


  • Legal science –
  • legal epistemology –
  • value judgements –
  • interpretive turn-methodological monism –
  • methodological pluralism


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