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Article

Г.Д. Гурвич: проект социологии права

In the present article are examined the basic facts about life of an outstanding Russian-French philosopher, lawyer and sociologist Georges Gurvitch, as well as the principal ideas of his scientific conception. The author focuses on the role Gurvitch played in elaboration of the methodology for socio-legal studies, and on the importance of this scientific project for contemporary sociological studies in law. The author demonstrates the connecting link between the philosophical ideas of Gurvitch about law with the key tenets of Russian philosophy; on this basis the author concludes in favor of actuality of these ideas from the standpoint of the continued integration of Russian theoretical jurisprudence into the worldwide legal science. The main concepts and schemes of the sociology of law by Gurvitch are examined by the author, including the concepts of sociability and of social law. These concepts are central to the legal conception of Gurvitch which sets out to overcome the shortages of the methodological individualism inherent to the classical Western legal philosophy of Modernity and at the same time to avoid the extremities of communitarism which are typical for the legal philosophy of Antiquity and of the Oriental world-outlook. Another direction of synthesis for Gurvitch was to reconcile the methodological principles of positivism and of metaphysics, which in the field of sociology are confronted as the positivistic methods of quantitative sociology and the abstract methods of social philosophy. Gurvitch sought to triumph over this conflict through postulating an ideal-realist method which allowed justification of integrative approach to law. Each legal order is created by the society through implementation of certain values, so that law is an attempt to carry out collective values, and first of all the value of justice, in a given social order. Validity of this order is guaranteed by the normative facts which also underpin efficiency of this order. In this way the social order acquires legitimacy and its basic values are accepted on the level of individual consciousness. It is the normative facts which unite two dimensions of law: the facticity (emotions, relations, actions) and the normativity (obligation, imperativity). The author stresses that the sociolegal conception of Gurvitch is based on the tradition of Russian legal philosophy. Here lies one of the major scientific merits of this thinker who introduced Russian philosophical debates into Western social-philosophical discourse and who thereby created methodological foundations for further elaboration of connecting links between these two discourses.