The book is a critical analysis of the work of Max Weber, Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx. It focuses on their separate analyses of the role of law in society, pointing out their faults and errors, and the resultant impact on modern social science. The author takes issue with Weber's work on rationality, with Durkheim's work on repressive and restitutive law, and with Marx's work on social justice and law as part of the super-structure.
In each section of the book he shows the implications that flow from a re-assessment and re-interpretation of their work for an understanding of society. The book is multi-disciplinary, making ample reference to law, sociology, anthropology, history, religion, ecology, criminology, philosophy and economics. Its various chapters discuss a wide range of themes, including rationality, tradition, science, political authority, conflict resolution, community, justice and altruism.
This book is a study of the theory of legal interpretation that underlies the legal systems of Europe, England, and the United States. The principles of interpretive jurisprudence are traced through Greek and Latin philosophers and legal theorists and Renaissance Italian glossators and commentators. In addressing human nature, these principles have a self-sustaining logical integrity. They are defensible as a worthy tradition of legal respect for the value of the individual.