Chapter

Understanding Private Law

Ernest J. Weinrib

in The Idea of Private Law

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199665815
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748622 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665815.003.0001
Understanding Private Law

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This chapter introduces the themes of this book by contrasting the standard functionalist approach — that one understands law through independently justifiable goals — with the claim in the book that one understands private law from a perspective internal to it. Unlike the functionalist approach, the internal approach treats law as an autonomous discipline whose discourse is intelligible in its own terms. Crucial to the internal approach is the role of coherence as an internal characteristic of private law and as an idea that has no external referent. The chapter also sketches the components of the theory that elucidates the internal perspective for understanding private law.

Keywords: functionalism; internal approach; law as autonomous discipline; coherence

Chapter.  8387 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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