This paper analyses a hitherto neglected aspect of the law’s objectivity: the epistemic and methodological character of the law’s assumptions about human behaviour. Taking H.L.A. Hart’s views on legal epistemology as a starting point, I suggest that the assumptions behind legal doctrines typically combine common sense factual beliefs, moral intuitions, philosophical theories of earlier ages and scientific knowledge. The task of the legal theorist is to provide a rational and critical foundation for these doctrines. Legal philosophy thus does not only contribute to law’s objectivity through conceptual clarification but also involves the legal scholars into substantive empirical and moral argumentation. I also discuss the reasons for and challenges to integrating empirical knowledge on human behaviour into legal policy and legal doctrines and point out the limits set by institutional, systemic and normative features of the law to this integration. In consequence, the law’s assumptions about personhood and human agency may come into conflict with empirical research in psychology and neurosciences and its claims of objectivity. Such a conflict then shows that these assumptions are counterfactual. (via)
You guys, I’m just going to keep working. You know. BECAUSE OF REASONS.