Appearance and Early Development Period of Legal Empiricism as the Method of the Discipline of Law: Views of Petrazycki and Ehrlich

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ISTANBUL HUKUK MECMUASI, vol.79, no.1, pp.251-274, 2021 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 79 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/mecmua.2021.79.1.0007
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.251-274
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Liberal legal systems ensued after the Enlightenment period and bourgeois revolutions. Jurists have been inclined to improve a methodology specific to the law within the liberal legal systems formed by 19th-century codifications. In this period in which different legal positivisms were born and developed, the aim was to transform the law into a separate, self-propelling scientific field. This effort considered 19th-century legal methodology as a field of study for jurists, closed to non-legal areas, and concerned only with normative arrangements. Although the legal system has the characteristics to regulate the social sphere and relations, traditional lawyering has limited itself to the normative framework and ignored social facts. This situation causes conflicts and discrepancies between the legal system and social reality. Accordingly, arguments have been submitted to evaluate the legal analysis together with the outcomes of social sciences, not merely legal materials. Thereby, the possibilities of interdisciplinary research between law and social sciences, especially using the empirical method, have started to be discussed.