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Jurisprudence as a knowledge or science of law

Updated: Apr 10

- Atul Maurya


The word jurisprudence derives from the Latin term juris prudentia, which means "the study, knowledge, or science of law." In the United States jurisprudence commonly means the philosophy of law. This stands the most basic definition of Jurisprudence.

Jurisprudence may be divided into three branches: analytical, sociological, and theoretical. The analytical branch articulates axioms, defines terms, and prescribes the methods that best enable one to view the legal order as an internally consistent, logical system. The sociological branch examines the actual effects of the law within society and the influence of social phenomena on the substantive and procedural aspects of law. The theoretical branch evaluates and criticizes law in terms of the ideals or goals postulated for it.


It is different from other social sciences as it is not static but a dynamic entity, having no limitations on itself. Every jurist does not blindly follow the norms made over there but follows it only after a brief scrutiny. It is said as art and science both; in science we draw conclusions after having a proper research and finding new methodology. When we apply these new concepts in our knowledge we can decipher that it is not anything else but a pure Science of Law. But not everyone can master its perfection so it can be said an Art. Austin said “jurisprudence is a science concerned positive, having nothing to do with the goodness or badness of law”. Salmond said that “In Jurisprudence, we are not concerned with the derivation of law from the authority and then applying them to the problems concerning law, but it is rather reflect on the nature of law, on the underlying meaning of legal concepts and on essentials of the legal system”. Hence it can be seen here that Jurisprudence comprises of Knowledge of Law teaches us that we need not find new rules or norms but top throw some light on the concepts already given. This knowledge of law helps people to understand all the aspects of the law very precisely. It is said to be the ‘Eyes of Law’. Helping the Jurists, Judges, Legal Practitioners and even Law students in understanding the meaning of laws formulated by the legislature of the country.


We have seen that Jurisprudence as a Knowledge or Science of Law. The phrase ‘eyes of law’ is very true to the core itself as it provides a sense to the Law, like in a human being we find that we are blessed to have sense organs to see, feel, smell, hear mad taste and it actually a different feeling and it is one other than an elixir of life. So is Jurisprudence in the field of Law. It helps us to go deep into the roots of law and understand the intricacies of Law.

Image Credits: Lawescort

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