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Article

Russian legal realism and transdisciplinarity in Social sciences at the turn of the XXth Century

his paper examines the academic context in which the Russian-Polish legal scholar Leon Petrazycki formed a transdisciplinary approach in legal philosophy, which served as a basis for development of legal sociology by his followers. The author contends that Petrazycki’s legal conception included “social engineering”, “living law”, and other aspects that allow characterizing his conception as one of the branches of legal realism. These realist stances were afterwards reconsidered by Gurvitch, Timasheff and other his followers who placed Petrazycki’s legal ideas into a framework of sociological jurisprudence. Going back to the beginnings of this approach, the author studies the common places in legal and economic sciences at the turn of the XX century, and foremost the predominating orientation to empirical data with discrimination of metaphysical speculation. The author asserts that the prevailing orientations at that epoque formed similar attitudes to understanding of legal and economic behaviors of social actors in countries seemingly belonging to different intellectual cultures. In this context, the author draws certain parallels between the methodological programs of Petrazycki and von Schmoller.