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Knowledge and authority: A study of the legitimacy of modern jurisprudence

Posted on:1999-04-30Degree:S.J.DType:Thesis
University:The George Washington UniversityCandidate:Kao, Su-PoFull Text:PDF
This dissertation is about people's vantage points when they engage in the actions delimited as the sphere of modern jurisprudence. The distinctive feature of their actions is the split between the vantage point of the observer and that of the participant. The vantage point of the observer is directly connected with the open-up of the human desire of objective knowledge as well as of the diversity of human interests after the decline of teleological traditions. It is believed that a reciprocity is set in motion between the extension of objective knowledge and its application to rational governance for the promotion of general welfare. This belief is evidenced in modern jurisprudential theories that suggests that the province of jurisprudence is made up with the analytical and normative jurisprudence. It is further believed that the political problem of legitimacy can be adequately addressed by this configuration of jurisprudence. The presupposed realism and instrumentalism are said to be complementary and to contribute to the overall legitimacy of modern jurisprudence, though I think that they actually sit together uneasily. The reason of the tensions rests on that neither realism nor instrumentalism, born out of the vantage point of the observer, can finally settle the problem of legitimacy.;It seems to me that we need to appeal to the vantage point of the participant to account for people's legitimation judgements. The very difficulty is how to find a synthesis that reconciles freedoms necessary for legitimation judgements and universal law necessary for modern authority. I argue that there can be potentially universal norms inside the vantage point of the participant which is better viewed as a grand political scheme. Taking the critical-interpretative approach, our originally local intersubjective understandings may develop into universal ones on which the legitimacy of the claims of knowledge and of authority of jurisprudence can be secured. And the necessary condition for the practices of critical interpretations is a kind of institutions grown out of the right of communication that is the principle of interpretations and judgements of law.;I conclude the dissertation by asserting that our engagement in jurisprudence is to answer the calling intrinsic in our modern condition. The challenge is not just a cool academic question but rather a heated struggle of our mind.
Keywords/Search Tags:Modern, Jurisprudence, Vantage point, Legitimacy, Authority
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