A Theory of Criminal Law Theories

Michael Moore

in Placing Blame

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199599493
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594649 | DOI:
A Theory of Criminal Law Theories

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This chapter develops a theory of what a theory of and area of law, criminal law included, should look like. It describes what kind of thing an area of law might be, and previews the book's conclusions as to the correct views on these matters. Three different kinds of kinds are distinguished as possible for areas of law such as criminal law: nominal kinds, natural kinds, and functional kinds. Three different kinds of theories of areas of law are also distinguished, distinguishing evaluative, explanatory, and descriptive theories. The aim of the book is then described as the attempt to give a descriptive theory of the general part of the criminal law, and a normative theory of the special part of the criminal law. The content of each of these theories is then previewed.

Keywords: theory of law; area of law; criminal law; nominal kinds; natural kinds; functional kinds; evaluative theories; explanatory theories; descriptive theories

Chapter.  32728 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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