Glossary of Terms ‘L’

Written By Thomas Perez. December 14th, 2010 at 5:39PM. Copyright 2010.

Legalism
In the Western sense, legalism is an approach to the analysis of legal questions characterized by abstract “logical” reasoning focused on the applicable legal text, such as a constitution, legislation, or case law, rather than on the social, economic, or political context. Legalism has occurred both in civil and common law traditions. Legalism may endorse the notion that the pre-existing body of authoritative legal materials already contains a uniquely pre-determined “right answer” to any legal problem that may arise. In legalism, the task of the judge is to ascertain the answer to a legal question mechanically.

Legal Interpretivism
See Interpretivism.

Legal Naturalism
Term coined by Olufemi Taiwo to describe a current in the social philosophy of Karl Marxwhich can be interpreted as one of Natural Law. Taiwo considered it the manifestation of Natural Law in a dialectical materialist context.

Legal Positivism
School of thought in the philosophy of law which claims that laws are made (deliberately or unintentionally) by human beings, and that there is no inherent or necessary connection between the validity of law and what is ethical or moral.

Liberalism
In politics, a position which favors liberty as a political value. Liberalism has taken many meanings throughout history, but commonalities include a focus on individual liberty, democratic republicanism (liberal democracy), and equality under the law.

Libertarianism
In metaphysics, the claim that free will exists; generally opposed to determinism. (But see compatibilism.) In political philosophy, either of two anti-statist political positions.

Logical Positivism
A philosophy (of science), that originated in the Vienna Circle in the 1920s, which holds that philosophy should aspire to the same sort of rigor as science. Philosophy should provide strict criteria for judging sentences true, false and meaningless. Although the logical positivists held a wide range of beliefs on many matters, they all shared an interest in science and deep skepticism of the theological and metaphysical. Following Wittgenstein, many subscribed to the correspondence theory of truth, although some, like Neurath, believed in coherentism. They believed that all knowledge should be based on logical inference from simple “protocol sentences” grounded in observable facts. Hence many supported forms of realism, materialism, philosophical naturalism, and empiricism. Logical positivism is also referred to as logical empiricism, rational empiricism, and neo-positivism.

Logicism
One of the schools of thought in the philosophy of mathematics, putting forth the theory that mathematics is an extension of logic and therefore all mathematics is reducible to logic.[8] Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead championed this theory fathered by Gottlob Frege. Frege gave up on the project after Russell recognized a paradox exposing an inconsistency in naive set theory. Russell and Whitehead continued on with the project in their Principia Mathematica.

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