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11 Behav. Sci. & L. 1 (1993)

handle is hein.journals/bsclw11 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Behavioral Sciences and the Law, Vol. 11, 1-2 (1993)


                        Introduction to
                        this issue


                        INTRODUCTION TO
                        JURISPRUDENCE





In the past two decades there has been a continual growth of scholarship relating
social science to law. While a considerable amount of research is theoretically rooted
in psychology and other social sciences, there recently has been an increasing interest
expressed in developing research from theoretical roots found in the law. More
specifically, there is interest in articulating the parameters and issues of jurisprudence
from psychological and other perspectives. As an outgrowth of this interest, this
volume assembles articles that address questions of jurisprudence, ordering them
in manner to first introduce then elaborate upon various approaches to jurisprudence.
  The first article serves as an introduction. Mark Small defines the nature ofpsycho-
logical jurisprudence and briefly reviews three current approaches to the construction
of a psychological jurisprudence. The three approaches reviewed are: (a) a psychologi-
cal jurisprudence as put forth by Gary Melton, (b) an emerging jurisprudence put
forth by proponents of cognitive science, and (c) therapeutic jurisprudence as detailed
by David Wexler and associates.
  The next article by David Wexler discusses therapeutic jurisprudence within a
context of changing legal scholarship. Professor Wexler argues that the current flux
in mental health law in particular has left an opening for the interdisciplinary
approach of therapeutic jurisprudence. The following article by Robert Schopp
addresses the issue of how to balance the conflicting interests of liberty and therapeu-
tic effectiveness within therapeutic jurisprudence.
  The remaining articles flush out alternative perspectives on the law. The article
by Michael Perlin posits that sanism, an irrational prejudice, infects legal decision
making. The result is a flawed law and legal practice in which social science is
inappropriately used. Norman Finkel provides a poignant example of the misunder-
standing and misuse of social science in analyzing the Supreme Court's juvenile
death penalty cases.
  In contrast, Richard Wiener's empirical review of psycholegal research examines
the empirical support for a normative foundation of psychological jurisprudence.
The results draw into question some of the assumptions made in the psychological
jurisprudence literature. The manuscript by Dennis Fox challenges current thinking
on the topic of jurisprudence. Professor Fox proposes that scholars consider radical
social change rather than the modest liberal reforms that could be accomplished
through current approaches to psychological jurisprudence.
  A final note should be made concerning the length of the articles. With one excep-
tion, our reviewers suggested that each of the articles could be improved by making
additions (e.g., adding clarifying examples). Indeed, jurisprudence is not a topic


© 1993 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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