Essay on Jurisprudence in Its Generic and Specific Sense

If we use the term “science” in its widest permissible sense, as including the systematized knowledge of any subject of intellectual inquiry, Salmond defines “jurisprudence as the science of civil law”.

Jurisprudence in Its Specific Sense:

Professor Salmond dis­tinguishes jurisprudence in its generic sense, as including the entire body of legal doctrine, from jurisprudence in a more specific sense, in which it means a particular department of such doctrine exclusively. He observes that in its limited significance it may be termed theoretical or general jurisprudence to distinguish it from the more practical and special departments of legal study.

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In the sense it is the science of first principle of civil law. This introductory and general portion of legal doctrine, cut off for reasons of practical convenience from the special portions which come after it, constitutes the subject-matter of jurispru­dence.

This introductory portion of legal doctrine is called theoretical jurisprudence, as being concerned with the theory of the law, that is to say its fundamental principles and conceptions rather than its practical and concrete details.

Salmond further observes that it is also known as general jurisprudence (jurisprudential generalist to universalism). It is also called the philosophy of law, the term philosophy being used in the sense of an inquiry into the first principles of any department of thought.