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Legal science: The demarcation problem and the perimeter of “good science”

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The scientificity of legal science depends both on a correct definition of which are its tasks and on the grade of compliance with demarcation criteria. With the former, legal science can be differentiated from other subject areas that also deal, more or less proximately, with law; from that definition, legal science gains its identity. With the latter, legal science obtains scientific reliability and becomes able to produce truth or truthlikeness outcomes; from that compliance, legal science can be purged from bad practices, removing its significant extents of wrongdoing. However, both conditions cannot ascertain and develop with the traditional descriptions of the tasks performed by legal scholars. Scientificity of legal science demands for a normative epistemological approach in order to establish a perimeter of what might be “good science” and to define the goals to be accomplished within an activity with the specificity of the “ought to be” as object of inquiry.




Duarte, D. (2019). Legal science: The demarcation problem and the perimeter of “good science.” In Legal Interpretation and Scientific Knowledge (pp. 211–251). Springer International Publishing.

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