A. Podgórecki, M. Łoś, J. Kurczewski, J . Kwaśniewski
THE ASSUMPTIONS AND FUNDAMENTAL HYPOTHESES OF RESEARCH STUDIES ON CERTAIN MORAL AND LEGAL ATTITUDES
The article gives some introductory information concerning the assumptions and base hypotheses of investigations into certain moral and legal attitudes. The authors postulate the need for an empirical study of facts which had hitherto been analysed on purely theoretical, semantical-dogmatic grounds. It is not their object to verify any one of the many existing theories expounding the different conceptions of the difference between the two kinds of norms; what they are trying to do is to obtain some systematic empirical knowledge regarding the distinctions universally registered in people’s minds and feelings.
Passing from the stage of abstract and semantical considerations on moral or legal issues to empirical study, it might be useful at the outset to initiate some more extensive investigation that would provide information as to whether the hypotheses formed so far find any confirmation, and possibly suggesting some new hypotheses that have not up till now been taken into account.
(1) There exist certain spheres of human relationships which are felt by social opinion to be governable solely by the law, while some other ones by morality alone, and finally, the largest domain, to be regulated by both law and morality together.
(2) It is suggested that a very forceful declaration of condemnation of acts of a certain category would also induce people to demand legal regulation of them as well.
(3) Different men represent different ways of life, and the way of life gaining increasing popularity nowadays as opposed to the basic way of life, is the teleological approach way.
(4) In present Polish society there is evidence of a systematic increase of the lay approach to social problems as opposed to the religious.
(5) The idea of the right of ownership is undergoing essential evolution.
(6) There are certain categories of men and causes of conduct which are felt by public opinion as due to be exempted from legal or moral sanctions.
(7) According to public opinion, moral or legal condemnation ought to be suitably loosened with regard to crimes committed for the sake of a member of the defendant’s family.
(8) Group of hypotheses . relating to legal rigorism (check verification).
(9) Approval of group responsibility as an element of the rigoristic approach, is connected with the sense of endangerment on the part of an individual or group.
(10) Distinctions are made with regard to behaviour that is in accordance with legal or moral norms, depending upon the character of the agent’s motivation.
The method to be used in this research will be the questionnaire method. Realizing the serious limitations such a method involves when applied to investigation of legal and moral problems, the authors repeatedly stress the vital significance and need of simultaneous control and supplementary research.