Jurisprudence For a Free Society is a remarkable contribution to legal theory. In its comprehensiveness and systematic elaboration, it stands among the major theories. It is also the most important jurisprudential statement to emerge in the post-war period. The pioneering work of Lasswell and McDougal on law and policy is already legendary. Most of the work produced by these scholars together and in collaboration with their students represent applications of their basic theory to a wide assortment of international and national legal and policy problems. Now, for the first time, the authoritative statement of their legal philosophy appears as a single volume.
In Part I the authors develop their fundamental criteria for a theory about law, including the requirements of clarifying observational standpoint, focus of inquiry and the pertinent intellectual tasks incumbent on the scholar and decisionmaker for determining and achieving common interests. Trends in theories about law, including Natural Law, the Historical School, Positivism, the Sociological Study of Law, American Legal Realism and other contemporary theories, are explored for what they might contribute to the achievement to the authors' conception of an adequate jurisprudence.
In Part II, the social process as a whole and the particular value-institutional processes that comprise it are described and analyzed. Because people establish, maintain and change institutions, the dynamics of personality and personality's relation to law is delineated.
Part III explores the intellectual tasks of policy thinking, from clarification of values, through description of trend, the scientific examination of conditions, projection of future developments and the invention of alternatives.
Part IV examines the structure of decision in a free society, a society in which the achievement of human dignity is confirmed in both word and deed.
Six appendices bring together monographs by the authors over a period of forty years which deal, in more detail, with particular matters treated in the body of the book.
Set of two.
The policy-oriented approach of the New Haven School is widely recognized as a major contribution to the legal and jurisprudential debate on interpretation. Eschewing mechanical textual methods, on the one hand, and anti-textual, solipsistic methods, on the other, the New Haven School has developed a comprehensive and systematic approach to the interpretation of human communication. Drawing upon psychology, legal experience, and communications theory, of which Lasswell was a founder, the authors have developed a theoretically cogent and practical method of interpretation. In the course of doing it, they survey the existing literature, showing its problems. In addition to the original text of
The Interpretation of Agreements, this edition includes a new introduction, in which developments since the appearance of the book are examined and appraised, and three important papers which elaborate the theory developed here, including Professor McDougal's scathing critique of the last major international conference on the law of treaties.