DPSP (2010-2020)

History of the project completed in 2020

The Digital Paul Scholten Project (DPSP) got its start in 2010. The project was initiated by Liesbeth Huppes-Cluysenaer, till 2012 lecturer and researcher at the Department of General Jurisprudence. The aim of the DPSP project was to produce an English translation of Scholten’s most important legal philosophical writing – commonly kown as Algemeen Deel – and to create a website to serve as an international platform for the discussion of Scholten’s theory.

The Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam accepted the proposal and agreed to finance the external costs of the project from 2010 to 2020. The work of the coordinator was provided for free.

The project was completed in 2020, with the Faculty of Law taking on the last of the exceedance costs. Since 2020, the project has been continued as an independent project by the initiator. Since then, attention has been focused on editing, translating and discussing the first two volumes of the Collected Writings, which contain Scholten’s philosophical and political writings.

First Five Years

The first draft of the English translation of the first chapter of <i>Algemeen Deel</i> was put online on the DPSP website in November 2013, side by side with the already existing French translation from 1954 and the original Dutch text. A comment option made it possible for readers to submit comments on the translated text. Other legal philosophical texts of Scholten’s Collected Papers were also put online in 2013, together with an already existing biography, which had been translated into English and a bibliography which had been turned into a sortable table.

The website was launched on the occasion of the first Paul Scholten symposium. In 2014 and 2015 two other symposia followed. The contributions to the three symposia were published as preprints with the intention of publishing them after a thorough edit accompanied by an open peer review. In this period an existing Indonesian translation was discovered in the National Archive. This Indonesian translation was also put online, side by side with the French, Dutch and English texts.

From 2015 on

From 2015 on the DPSP-project’s attention shifted to its completion. Although all texts were by then posted on the website, there was still much correction work to do. Turning a printed text into PDF or Word with the help of OCR (optical character recognition) generates many errors. The side by side presentation of texts in different languages, enabling a comparative analysis, also requires a uniform Word-format. Many Word texts that look the same in fact have a different format. Creating a uniform format demanded a great deal of creativity. Turning the different contributions to the Paul Scholten symposia into a coherent and informative volume required much time and interaction between authors and editor due to the different cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the authors. Finally, it appeared that the website was not user-friendly enough. The choice was made to change the approach and to make the website bilingual: Dutch for those who are interested in open access to Scholten’s original texts, and English for those who are interested in new ideas about the international relevance of Paul Scholten to contemporary legal philosophy.


A renewed DPSP website which can be considered as the completion of the project was launched in 2020. The prevailing issue in the last phase of the project was the question of who was going to host the website and what hosting would involve. Discussions in the editorial board led to the conclusion that continued hosting of the website by the initiator would not be enough to guarantee preservation of the website, but that enough activity would have to be created on the website to keep it visible.

Visibility was achieved, by starting a new English language journal, DPSP Annual, with annual publication of proceedings. In Volume 1 (2020) of this journal the results of the Project 2010-2020 were published: The modernized Dutch edition and the English translation of the first chapter of Algemeen Deel + the English contributions to the three Paul Scholten Symposia. In Volume 2 (2021), the delivery of the translation project for Algemeen Deel was completed with the re-edition of the already existing Indonesian and French translation.

With the establishment of the journal, the choice became apparent for the continuation of the project: the translation, adaptation and publication of a series of articles from the first two volumes of the Collected Writings in conjunction with discussions of those articles through the organization of new Symposia,

Finally, in 2020 the first DPSP Special Issues was published in book form with the title Aristotelian Protestantism in Legal Philosophy, Rethinking Paul Scholten for the 21st Century. In addition to the English translation of chapter 1 of the Algemeen Deel, the book contains a selection of the publications in DPSP Annual Volume 1 (2020), a short biography, an introduction to Scholten’s theory and annotation + comments on the text/translation of Algemeen Deel.


Board (2010-2020)

DPSP’s Editorial Board functioned from 2010 to 2020. The Board was concerned – at a distance – with all aspects of the design and administration of the website. Thus the Board has been of great support to the initiator of the project. Some members of the Editorial Board resigned at an early stage for varying reasons, and some in fact never became actively engaged. Listed below are those members who were actively involved in the project for a substantial period of time. The data given below often pertain not to the whole period, but to only a part of it. During the period 2010-2020 many career changes took place.

Members of Editorial Board

Chairman: Laurens Winkel– Professor of Legal History at Erasmus University, Rotterdam. Deputy judge at the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam. Studied Dutch law at the University of Amsterdam and law at the Université des Sciences Sociales Toulouse I. He received his doctor’s degree cum laude in 1983 for a thesis on the meaning of error iuris in Greek philosophy and Roman law. He taught as a guest professor at the University of Zürich, Fribourg, the Université Paris V René Descartes, the Università ‘La Sapienza’ in Rome and the University of Ghent, and was a member of the editorial board of the Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis and Grotiana. From 2001 to 2011 he was a member of the Council for the Humanities of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2013 he received a doctorate honoris causa at the University of Edinburgh. He publishes on the historical/philosophical aspects of civil law, the pre-modern state and the history of international law. See for publications: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Laurens_Winkel

Vice-chairman: André Hoekema– emeritus Professor of Sociology of Law and Legal Pluralism, at the University of Amsterdam, where he wrote his doctoral thesis (1972) on the informal way in which petty theft is treated in the port area of Rotterdam, and stayed affiliated for many years after his retirement to guide PHD students. He had studied both sociology and Dutch law at the University of Utrecht. In later years he has specialized and published on territorial rights, legal reform and ways to ‘pluralize’ the state and its legal order, mostly in Latin America and some African countries. The interaction between legal and sociological/anthropological theory has been one of the recurring topics of his academic interest. In this context he has also devoted attention to Scholten and his contemporaries such as Levenbach, Valkhoff, Hijmans and Sinzheimer. See for publications: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Andre_Hoekema

Editorial Secretary: Liesbeth Huppes-Cluysenaer: After being retired in 2012 she stayed affiliated with the University of Amsterdam as guest researcher until 2020 to finish the Scholten project. She studied Dutch law and teaching philosophy, both at the University of Amsterdam. She wrote her dissertation on the relevance of the theory of science in the context of legal education in 1995, and lectured on various subjects in legal philosophy, sociology of law, epistemology of law and argumentation theory. Her current research topic is Aristotelian legal theory. For publications see: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Liesbeth_Huppes-Cluysenaer2

Esther Hoorn– consultant in intellectual property, open access and data management at the University of Groningen. Studied Dutch law at the University of Leiden. She has experience in legal practice, being for some time a Deputy Judge at the Leeuwarden Court of Law. She used Wiki-software in an experiment with Dutch students following legal education in English and has acquired expert knowledge about the creation of enhanced publications. Her focus of interest is in the way new software tools affect academic legal communication and broader participation in research. As a great-grandchild of Paul Scholten she promotes the availability of Scholten’s work in the public domain. See for expertise: https://www.rug.nl/staff/e.hoorn/

Niels van Manen– member of the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam since 2009. Studied Dutch law at the University of Leiden and acquired his doctorate at the University of Amsterdam in 1989 where he was an associate professor for many years. The subject of his thesis was an empirical study of social-legal aid. He and André Hoekema published a manual on the theory and method of the sociology of law. For some time he managed the Paul Scholten Research Institute of the University of Amsterdam and during this period, together with Roelf Stutterheim, edited a photoprint of the Scholten’s doctoral thesis, using Scholten’s own copy with personal annotations. In 1995 he wrote an article specifically on Scholten’s method of law-finding, which has recently been translated into English and can be downloaded at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1585106  See for publications also https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Niels_Van_Manen2

Antoinette Muntjewerff – Assistant Professor in General Legal Theory and (from 1988 – 2003) Artificial Intelligence & Law at the University of Amsterdam. Studied both law and educational science at the Free University in Amsterdam and at the University of Amsterdam, the Catholic University of Nijmegen and the Free University in Amsterdam. Her PhD research (2001) involved theoretical and empirical studies of legal case-solving, as well as the construction of an instructional environment for learning to solve legal cases called PROSA. In 2003/2004 she worked as part time Professor of Legal Methodology at the Faculty of Law of the Free University of Brussels to develop a curriculum for Legal Methodology and set up an electronic practical (a WorkBench) for Legal Methodology. Her research focuses on modelling legal knowledge and legal reasoning to develop electronic materials for learning law (see www.antoinettemuntjewerff.nl).

Bram Scholten- advisor in the Payments Division of De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) in Amsterdam. Joined DNB in 1980 and has held a wide range of positions since then. Was posted to the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC and since 2011 has been posted to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Studied Economics and (more recently) Dutch law, both at the University of Amsterdam. Grandson of Paul Scholten and son of G.J. Scholten who was Professor of Dutch Civil Law at the University of Amsterdam from 1962 until 1979, the same position which Paul Scholten had held from 1910 to 1945. Former chairman of the Westerkerk Church Council in Amsterdam and board member of the Germany Institute Amsterdam (Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam) (DIA). See for his expertise https://www.mr-online.nl/boek-juridische-aspecten-cash/.

Marjanne Termorshuizen-Arts– painter/artist and freelance translator/interpreter Dutch-Indonesian. During 2004-2007 a research member at the Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden. During 2006-2008 a member as well as interim-chairman of the Pin Yin Committee on the translation of Dutch legal terms in French, German and English. Studied law at the Radboud University of Nijmegen and Indonesian Languages at the University of Leiden. She received her doctor’s degree at the University of Leiden in 2003 with a thesis on the methodology of comparative law. In this thesis she developed a method to visualize the tenets which are crucial for the understanding and comparison of certain concepts of law. Also, in 1999, she published a Dutch-Indonesian legal dictionary and, in 2000, an Indonesian-Dutch dictionary on civil law. In 2003 she edited and commented upon a translation by Tristam Moeliono and Widati Wulandari of a well-known manual on Dutch penal law by Jan Remmelink. See for publications https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marjanne_Termorshuizen-Arts. For art https://www.marjannetermorshuizen.nl/

Saskia Wouterse-Windhouwer - specialist in electronic publishing/repository manager at the University of Amsterdam and Head of Library & Information Services at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) in Wageningen. At the University of Amsterdam she is the contact person for copyrights, open access, the research information system and the Institutional Repository (UvA-DARE). She is a member of the UKB-working-group Open Access and acting chair of the Special Interest Group Research Information. In 2010 she won the SURFshare Open Access Award. Furthermore she participated in the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission entitled Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research II and is co-author of one of its products: “Report on Enhanced Publications state-of-the-art”. Currently working at the university of Leiden. See for her expertise https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/staffmembers/saskia-woutersen-windhouwer#tab-1

Scholten Seen Through the Editorial Eye

The Paul Scholten website went online in 2013. Most members accepted the request of the webmaster/editorial secretary to describe their involvement with the project.

Antoinette Muntjewerff

Paul Scholten’s Algemeen Deel (1934) is essential for legal research. My research interests are on the thinking, reasoning and planning that mediate legal problemsolving, learning and skilled performance. My main interest is in the structure and acquisition of legal expert performance. My research includes the disciplines of legal (computational) theory, legal methodology, legal knowledge acquisition, cognitive science, learning & instruction and instructional technology. My research focus is on the conceptual analysis of the basic/core tasks in law (legislative design and legal assessment) in order to construct models that can be used in legal research and legal practice. In this (re)construction process, two components can be distinguished:

1) a theoretical component of exploration, conceptualization and specification of legal knowledge and legal reasoning resulting in explicit models of legal knowledge and legal reasoning. Two perspectives can be taken within this approach: a legal perspective and a knowledge engineering perspective. From the legal perspective, different legal sources are examined to specify required models, these being legal empirical research, legal educational practice, legal dogmatic and legal theoretical research. The knowledge engineering perspective is used to construct models at a high level of explicitness as they have to be executed by a computer. This explicitness of models is exactly what is needed in instruction for both theory formation and fault detection.
(2) An empirical component where empirical studies are carried out to gain insight into the way legal practitioners and legal scientists handle legal knowledge in general and in carrying out specific legal tasks. Law students are studied to see how they handle and use legal knowledge to perform a specific legal task and what difficulties they experience.

For me Paul Scholten’s Algemeen Deel provides the basis for the theoretical exploration, conceptualization and specification of the core task in law: legal decision making. Three main elements are important in his Algemeen Deel: 1) law is seen as a coherent system (system and coherence); 2) the activities and knowledge needed to carry out these activities are made explicit (methodology); and 3) the distinction between ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ thinking (intuition and rational problem solving) (Kahneman 2011) Research into legal problem solving requires being acquainted with Paul Scholten’s Algemeen Deel.

Niels van Manen

My interest in Paul Scholten originated during my studies at Leiden University at the time of the ‘revolution’ of 1968/1969 that swept over the world. In their critical approach to law and legal decision making, most law professors in those days still claimed that law was clear, and that judges, just as their social background, were unimportant. Thirty five years earlier Scholten had proclaimed ‘Law as an open system’ in his Algemeen Deel (General Method) and clearly saw the influence of the ‘mind set’ of a judge at work in every legal decision. For him there was and could be no neutral judge having no influence on the outcome of a legal conflict in court. Seen through my young legal scholar eyes, Scholten was not only a well-respected legal scholar and a well-known professor of civil law and philosophy of law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam, he also put an end in his Algemeen Deel to one of the great judicial myths: Justinianus, Montesquieu, Robespierre and all those Bouche de la loi-adepts were, in conviction or ideology, wrong. This thought of such an eminent legal scholar offered me a starting point for my critical analysis of the legal profession and law in general. ‘Law as an open system’ was, if not presented by Scholten for the first time in the Netherlands, made Salonfähig by Scholten in legal debate. Scholten argued that in fact judges take a kind of leap to reach their conclusions and decisions. The only real question was: how do judges actually decide? Scholten saw a role for intuition to fill the gap in decision making. Two sources of this intuition were possible: one was “the Idea of Law, one of the forms in which the Weltgeist realizes itself, the other the conscience subdued to a higher power, which as Person revealed in Creation and History, the individual and the society (collectivity) approaches with unconditional claims. (GM, block 530)”
The first according to Scholten, refers to idealism, especially in its Hegel-pantheïstic form, and the second is a Christian belief. I think this understanding of the sources of judicial intuition is too limited. It neglects, among others, Marx and Durkheim. More than 60 years after the publication of Algemeen Deel, in 1994 André Hoekema and I wrote Types of Legality and in 2000 an considerably expanded version (with the subtitle: Developments in Law and Society), in search of changes in social structures and public morals in the Netherlands over the course of more than a century, in order to be able to explain the developments and changes of the law (statutes and judicial decisions). Our exploration brought us to themes such as the multicultural society and the law, and to legal pluralism more broadly. I continue to search to this day for the sources of the judge’s intuition… in theory and practice.

Laurens Winkel

My research on the works of Paul Scholten is framed in a double way: at first I am interested in the history of legal science and jurisprudence in the first half of the twentieth century (the reappearance of natural law philosophy in particular) and I find Scholten’s analysis of the judge dealing with private law codification particularly fascinating. From a legal historical perspective he deals with the same problems as Portalis in his famous Discours Préliminaire. Scholten did not work alone! In his valedictory lecture of 1945 he acknowledged this, mentioning his sources, especially in the works of Rudolf Stammler. In the beginning of his career he also published an article on the new Swiss Civil Code of 1907 with its famous first article in which a provision is given in case of a lacuna in the statutes. In this article we find the legal theory of Algemeen Deel in a nutshell.

In the second place, Scholten started as a professor of Roman law as a successor of Max Conrat. In his inaugural lecture he made a few very interesting remarks on the utility of the study of Roman law. In my view this start of his career in teaching Roman law had far reaching consequences for the further development of his legal theory.

Liesbeth Huppes-Cluysenaer

Important for me in relation to this project is a quote by Karl Popper, taken from a lecture he delivered in the Netherlands and many other countries and tremendously influential.

But the old ethics was based upon the idea of personal knowledge and of certain knowledge and, therefore, upon the idea of authority; whereas the new ethics is based upon the idea of objective knowledge and of uncertain knowledge. This signifies a fundamental change in the underlying way of thinking and, consequently, in the way that the ideas of truth, of rationality and of intellectual honesty and responsibility function. The old ideal was to possess truth – certain truth – and, if possible, to guarantee truth by means of a logical proof. This ideal, widely accepted to this day, is the idea of wisdom in person, the sage; not of “wisdom” in the Socratic sense, of course, but in the Platonic sense: the sage who is an authority; the learned philosopher who claims power: the philosopher king. (…) The old ethics I am describing leaves no room for mistakes. Mistakes are simply not allowed. Consequently, mistakes must not be acknowledged. I do not need to stress that this old professional ethics is intolerant. Moreover, it always has been intellectually dishonest: it leads (especially in medicine and in politics) to the covering up of mistakes for the sake of protecting authority. This is why I suggest that we need a new professional ethics, mainly, but not exclusively, for scientists. I suggest that it be based upon the following twelve principles, with which I shall conclude this lecture. (‘Toleration and Intellectual Responsibility’, in In Search of a Better World: Lectures and Essays from Thirty Years (London; New York: Routledge, 1992), 188–204.)

In my view Scholten tried to erect a monument for exactly that idea of professional practice which according to Popper can be traced back to Plato and which he describes as intolerant. Scholten seems to have been quite aware of the ideas in his days that foreshadowed the words uttered by Popper. From the start of my professional career I have been interested in the opposition between this old and new model of professional practice. It was the central theme of a paper I wrote in 1977 for the first conference of Dutch legal sociologists. I especially worked on the concept of subjective knowledge in its contradiction to Popper’s ‘epistemology without a knowing subject.’ (ch. 3 of Karl R Popper, Objective Knowledge; an Evolutionary Approach (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972). In this regard I have been puzzled by the fact that Popper creates a distinction between Socrate and Plato, but pays no attention to Aristotle.
For most people the term subjective has connotations of being determined by emotions and prejudices. Scholten didn’t deny this. But he defended – especially in the last 20 pages of his Algemeen Deel - an epistemological model with a double structure, based (in my words) on a cooperation between verbal intelligence (concepts) and acting intelligence (intuitive appreciation). Verbal intelligence is abstract and general, while acting intelligence pertains to assessments of individual situations. In Algemeen Deel Scholten describes how the legal structure of society is based on a mixed regime of rational verbal legitimation referring to rules/principles and irrational appreciative decisions. Popper’s view implies that mainly scientists determine practice and that the distinction between ethics and science disappears.

Bram Scholten

Paul Scholten was my grandfather. The more I read of his work, the more I regret that I was born too late to have known him. What is it that gives me this feeling? It is the warmth of his heart that shines through so many of his writings. His scholarly knowledge of the legal system seems to have been filtered through his heart, through the wisdom of the heart, not its passions. This is not only evident in many of the articles in the first and second part of his Collected Writings (one which even bears the fascinating title ‘Law and love’), but also in his Algemeen Deel, in particular where he writes about how it is when you are the judge and the moment comes that you have to decide. In my view that is why we still feel such an affinity for Paul Scholten today, and certainly when you are his grandson.

Marjanne Termorshuizen-Arts

Jurists have long strived to establish the meaning of legal terms and concepts as precisely as possible. For a time they worked from the assumption that it was possible to determine the meaning of a legal concept by means of a clear legal definition, such that interpretation was hardly or not at all necessary. Faced with the reality of legal practice, however, views have changed. The dynamic developments of our rapidly evolving and changing society have made it necessary to inter alia make use of vague terms and open descriptions in the definitions of legal provisions.
Previous ways of interpreting were therefore replaced by a broader approach, whereby one understood that for interpretation factors from outside positive law must also play a role. This means that in addition to positive law elements, such as the meaning which is given to a concept in the doctrine or case law, also the influence of the interpreter/the subject itself is crucial to interpretation. Paul Scholten was one of the first to realize and propagate this.
In this and adjacent fields he was a pioneer. He warned against an overly restricted and what he called rational way of decision making by the judge. According to Scholten, for a judicial decision to be valid and just, the irrational or intuitive, and thus personal and preferably non-juridical aspect was also indispensable. One of the jurists to elaborate on Scholten’s ideas is Jan Vranken, a leading jurist of our time. Jan Vranken has published two treatises on legal theory and the finding of law, of which the first (in 1997) came as a follow up to Scholten’s Algemeen Deel. In his second book, Asser-Vranken, Een vervolg (2005), Vranken states that the particular mind-set of jurists that helps them to decide a case, which is based on the education and particular way of thinking of jurists, seems to make it easier for them to reach their conclusions. Other than what they think, however, their conclusions are not necessarily valid. If one thinks in terms of a specific mental model, one runs the risk of being imprisoned within the boundaries of such a model. Basing ones views on a pattern of thought or mental model seems to be very efficient because some factors are given too much attention while other factors are obscured. To see all factors at once is too much a burden for the average jurist! Therefore, according to Vranken, it is healthy to not focus exclusively on the position of the judge as the decisive factor in finding law, but to insert other ways of thinking. In this he stresses the importance of context that should permeate the restricted thinking pattern or mental model of before. I question whether Vranken provides a convincing solution in this second work of his. Perhaps his third one, (which is just published (2014), will not only literally but also in reality create a “synthesis” that is acceptable and fruitful. At any rate, Paul Scholten appears to be an inspiring model even up to the year 2013.

Esther Hoorn

In most digitization projects, no one knows what the original rights holder thinks about online access. This is not true in the case of Paul Scholten. When the Dutch Copyright Act was introduced in 1912, he wrote an article expressing his view that copyright protection had become too broad and too lengthy. When Scholten died in 1946, his general introduction was still not in the public domain. In the early stage of this project, the commitment of all stakeholders was assured. The library provided support for the repository, and the faculty and the research institute provided other support. The publisher consented to the project after consulting Scholten´s family. The family (I am a great-granddaughter)) considered the ambitions of the project in alignment with his ethos of sharing. Paul Scholten is famous for his emphasis on the role of discussion in developing clear insight in legal decision making and considered sharing knowledge of the law as a moral necessity for all lawyers. This project proves that digitization is feasible where the need for these resources online is perceived as relevant for present-day scholarly communication, but the digitization of older works still under copyright, is generally problematic due to copyright protection. Solutions can be found through the combined inventiveness of scholars and librarians involved in open access.



The Digital Paul Scholten project considers Scholten’s Algemeen Deel to be one of the most important parts of Dutch cultural and legal heritage, which must be preserved for legal philosophy into the future. Preservation of legal heritage involves research from the perspective of comparative legal philosophy. The comparison requires a much wider focus than on the legal theory of different countries, but must be expanded to a comparison in time and place of the different philosophical perspectives that play a role in sociology, history, anthropology, theology and political science. The DPSP website aims to provide a digital research environment to facilitate such comparative research.

The following 5 objectives were formulated:

1. Making the legal philosophical work of Paul Scholten (General Volume and Collected Writings) available in open access on a website.

2. Translate the first chapter of the General Part into English and then publish it in open access.

3. Critically discuss this work translated into English by organizing Symposia in an international legal philosophy context.

4. Publish the contributions in English to the Symposia in open access.

5. Sharing the technique of making a multilingual website with a magazine character via the website.

The 70th anniversary of Paul Scholten’s death was marked in 2016. From this moment on, all of his works belong to the public domain. His family’s generosity made it possible to place the original philosophical works of Paul Scholten online in open access in 2013 on the website of the Digital Paul Scholten Project. The texts were presented as photocopy texts and were also scanned and saved as Word file copies. These texts can be searched, downloaded and printed in all formats.
In the period after 2013 much work still had to be done to correct the texts and to determine how the texts should be presented. The results are now available.

Implementation in 2020

The following choices were made when implementing the 5 objectives that were formulated.

1: Available in open access on a website

- Numbered text blocks. The Word files of Algemeen Deel are divided into numbered text blocks. This makes referencing possible without the use of page numbers, which differ in different editions and are not usable on web pages. This division into blocks also makes it possible to compare translations and adaptations with the original or with another translation.
- Algemeen Deel in Drie Edities. A web edition of Algemeen Deel with block numbers is presented on the Dutch language version of the website, in which the revisions and page numbers of the three different editions are included in three different colors. The old registers are included in this web edition as well, but left out of other editions as they are out of date.
- Adaptation. The first chapter of the General Part has been modernized qua idiom. See Method for more details.

2: English language translation and publication

Translation into English

Native speaker. The draft translation of Chapter 1 of Algemeen Deel was already available on the website in 2013. A native speaker was part of the translation team. For the working method, see the page Method. Ultimately, in 2020 a modernization of the Dutch original text was made. The English translation has been adapted accordingly. The already existing French and Indonesian translation were not adapted in this way.

New Title. People often speak of Algemeen Deel when they intend to speak of its first chapter. The title of this first chapter is De Methode van het Privaatrecht. The editorial board of the project has decided to give a new title to the independent publication of the adapted first chapter: General Method of Private Law (In short General Method, GM). In Dutch the new title is Algemene Methode van het Privaatrecht (AM); In French Méthode Générale du Droit Privé; In Indonesian Metode Umum Hukum Perdata.
Side by side translations. All translations of Algemeen Deel the works of Paul Scholten are presented block by block on the website, side by side with the other existing translations. On the Dutch edition of the website also side by sides of original and modernized Dutch editions are presented.
Standardization of translations. In all DPSP editions the translations as published on the website will be used as standard. If an author criticizes a translation, the terms in question are used as theoretical terms. This means that the English translation is always accompanied by the Dutch term in brackets.


The English language annotated and adapted translation of the first chapter of Algemeen Deel can be found on the website side by side with the other existing translations. These are not publications, but web editions or web versions, which are printable, searchable and downloadable.

The English translation has been published in Volume 1 (2020) of the established open access online journal DPSP Annual, while the Dutch adaptation and the French and Indonesian translation have been reissued in the same journal in Volume 1 (2020) and Volume 2 (2021) respectively. The new English language translation is also a chapter of a printed book Aristotelian Protestantism in Legal Philosophy, Rethinking Paul Scholten for the 21th Century,  DPSP Special Issue no 1, together with a selection of the contributions to the first three symposia; an Introduction and a Biographical sketch.

Concerning DPSP publishing, a few choices have been made:
References to translations. No international standard exists for references to translations. The Chicago Manual of Style, for example, provides two possibilities: one can take either the name of the translator as the author’s name, or the name of the original author. DPSP (re)publications of translations will provide a title from which it is clear that the publication concerns a translation, and include the name of the original author in the title. Then the translator(s)+original author are author.
Citation Data. A distinction should be made between web versions, E-publications, and printed books. Web versions of existing publications retain their original citation data. A reference to pages should be accompanied by adding the URL of DPSP +blocknumbers. New translations, the adapted new editions of the original and existing translations have the new citation data of the E-journal DPSP Annual. DPSP Special Issues are printed books which contain a selection of the publications in DPSP Annual and new material, such as an Introduction.

3: Organize Symposia

Making an English language translation only makes sense when it can be successfully argued that Scholten contributes in an important and unique way to the international discourse in legal philosophy. Symposia serve the purpose of establishing a platform for such a discourse. For each symposium a theme was selected from Algemeen Deel. Speakers were invited in consultation with the organizing teams, which functioned as guest editors. The Symposia themes were elaborated in research questions, which are published on the website and to which the Symposium contributions were submitted.

Until 2020, three English-language Symposia have been organized.

Paul Scholten Symposium I on November 15, 2013.

Title/Theme: Paul Scholten from the Perspective of Comparative Legal Theory
Research Questions: Intuition and Open System of Law
Venue: University Library of the University of Amsterdam
Organized by André Hoekema, Niels van Manen and Liesbeth Huppes-Cluysenaer.
Invitation of speakers from abroad financed by Marcel Henri Bregstein Stichting.
Day Chair: André Hoekema
Opening by Edgar du Perron, Dean of the Faculty of Law
Kees Cappon, Chair of the Department of General Jurisprudence; Jean-Louis Hapérin, Professor of Legal History at École Normale Supérieure in Paris; Burkhard Schafer, Professor Computational Legal Theory at University of Edingburgh; Laurens Winkel, Professor Legal History at Erasmus University in Rotterdam and chair of the editorial board of DPSP; Niels van Manen, member of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam and member of the editorial board of DPSP; Liesbeth Huppes-Cluysenaer, webmaster of the DPSP website; Jelmer van der Ploeg, programmer of the website.
Jaakko Husa, Professor of Legal Culture and Legal Linguistics at the University of Helsinki was forced to cancel due to an airline strike.
The keynote speeches of Halpérin, Husa and van Manen were submitted as contributions to the research questions Open System of Law (Halpérin and Husa) and Intuition (van Manen). They are published in DPSP Annual, Volume I, 2020.
The editorial board met on the morning of November 16, which was also attended by Halpérin and Schafer. Lengthy discussion addressed the question of how to deal with the registers in Algemeen Deel, next to many other issues which are associated with e-publishing. Read more on this in evaluation.

Paul Scholten Symposium II on November 21, 2014.

Title/Theme: Paul Scholten on Law and Emotion
Research Question: Law and Emotion
Venue: Faculty Room in the Oude Manhuispoort.
Organized by Liesbeth Huppes-Cluysenaer.
Invitation of speakers from abroad financed by the Faculty of Law
Day Chair: Niels van Manen
Speakers: Marco Gardini, Professor of Roman Law at the University of Parma; Terry Maroney, Professor of Law and Professor of Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University; Christof Rapp, Professor Munich School of Ancient Philosophy of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; René Brouwer, lecturer in Law, Economics, Governance and Organization at the University of Utrecht, who published about Stoicism, Cambridge University Press; Nuno Coelho, Professor of Legal Philosophy at University of São Paulo and Ribeirão Preto; Luciano de Camargo Penteado, lecturer and researcher civil law at the University of São Paulo.
All keynote speeches, except one, were submitted as contributions to the research question Law and Emotion. René Brouwers was forced to withdraw because his institution was unwilling to accept publication on the DPSP website as an academic publication. The submitted contributions are now published in the first volume of DPSP Annual, 2020. The contribution of Luciano Penteado was not peer reviewed due to his sudden death after a short illness in 2015.

The Second Paul Scholten Symposium was combined with a workshop on November 20 with the subject Aristotle: Law, Reason and Emotion, organized with the help of Nuno Coelho. The workshop participants (9) came on their own. Not all speakers at the Symposium participated in the workshop, but Nuno, Terry and Luciano did. The workshop resulted four years later in a volume with Springer. The contributions by Maroney and Rapp were included as reprints.

Paul Scholten Symposium III on November 27, 2015.

Title/Theme: New Perspectives on Law and Reality
Venue: University Library of the University of Amsterdam.
Organized by Adriaan Bedner, Marjanne Termorshuizen-Arts and Liesbeth Huppes-Cluysenaer.
Invitation of speakers from abroad was financed by the Dutch Royal Academy and the Marcel Henri Bregstein Stichting.
Day Chair: Derk Venema, teacher German and Philosophy, former lecturer and researcher of legal philosophy at Radboud University in Nijmegen and former treasurer of the Dutch Association for Philosophy of Law.
Speakers: Pablo Rueda, lecturer and researcher at University of Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia; Ramiro Molina Rivero, former lecturer and researcher at Catholic University of La Paz, Bolivia; Marjanne Termorshuizen-Arts, artist and former researcher at Van Vollenhove Institute for Law, Governance & Society, Leiden Law School; Robert Knegt, former associate professor and director of Sinzheimer Institute in Amsterdam; Shidarta, lecturer and researcher at Binus University in Jakarta, Indonesia ; Upik Djalins, independent scholar with a dissertation at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States; Adriaan Bedner, professor and director of the Van Vollenhove Institute in Leiden.
Result: Three speakers (Pablo Rueda, Ramiro Molina Rivero and Adriaan Bedner) did not submit their keynote speech to the research question New Perspectives on Law and Reality. The other speakers did submit their contributions, which are now published in the first volume of DPSP Annual, 2020.
The Third Paul Scholten Symposium was again combined with a workshop, this time on the same subject. The participants (5) of the workshop came on their own. The keynote speakers all took part in the workshop. Although all participants in the workshop contributed to the relevant research question, with the exception of Moeliono, they did not submit a revision of their review because the translation problems were too great. Of the workshop contributions, therefore, only the article by Tristam Moeliono is now included in the first volume of DPSP Annual, 2020.

4: Publish contributions to the Symposia

The contributions which were submitted to the research questions of the three DPSP Symposia have been published in the first volume of DPSP Annual, 2020. These contributions were extensively edited by the editor of DPSP Annual – at this moment the webmaster of the DPSP website – in consultation with the organizers of the symposia. Two contributions have already been submitted and a third one announced for the newly planned Fourth Paul Scholten Symposium. These are posted online as in progress and therefore non-citable. Editing for DPSP Annual concerns the following:
References to Scholten’s work. Unless authors who have been specifically invited for their particular expertise (like Rapp and Maroney in volume 2020), all authors should refer extensively to Scholten’s works. The editor will confront the author with passages from the work of Scholten which are at first sight contrary to what the author writes, and will ask the author to explicitly take a position in his/her argument concerning the possible difference. An exception is made when an author is invited to the Symposium to discuss a specific aspect of legal theory in a general sense, such as the authors Rapp and Maroney, for example.
English language. All articles must be written in comprehensible English, and as far as possible, extra costs for language-editing are avoided. The danger lurks that with a very different language background small mistakes can lead to incomprehensibility. This sometimes asks a lot from editor and author and can lead to several stages of revision. In some cases the author may be asked to first find additional help for the English translation of the article.
Institutions and mother tongue. The use of foreign examples of legislation, judicial decisions and institutions can require a great deal of explanation. As with using quotations in a mother tongue, please use English in the main text and provide explanations and the mother tongue in footnotes. These explanations and translations, glossaries, lists with legislation, etc, will be included in the bibliography of the article.
Quotations and translation. Just as there is no international standard for the publication of translations, there is also no international standard for the use of translated quotations. DPSP has adopted the policy of forbidding run-in quotations when it concerns translated text. This type of quoting suggests that quoted words are of the original author, while in fact the words quoted are those of the translator. Only block quotes will be accepted. To keep the reader aware of the fact that a block quote contains a quotation of a translated text, the block note must be accompanied by the initials of the translator. For block quotes to the work of Paul Scholten, the translation of which is already on the website, the block number in brackets will suffice.
Preprints and Open Peer Review. In the initial phase of the project, an English-language contribution for the website was put online immediately upon submission, after a very minor check, as a non-citable concept. (This direct posting is no longer being done.) As soon as the editing process is finalized, the article will be published as a preprint and sent to two reviewers, one of the author’s choice, the other by choice of the editor. Open peer review is a new phenomenon and it has taken some time to find out how to use it effectively. Open peer review can only work well when the editing has been done well. Its function is then the same as the reviews of books. The reviewer is therefore asked to openly review the work of the author, but to review the work of the editor on a closed basis. This means that comments on layout, use of language or the judgement that an article is not publishable do NOT belong in an open peer review, but are very welcome information for the editor. The editor will use such information in interaction with the author to arrive at a revision. The open peer review should concern the relevance of the article’s content and its persuasiveness. Since the author has the possibility to revise the article, indications about how the article could be improved are also welcome.

It has taken time to develop policy for open peer review. Some open peer reviews, done in the past, have therefore been slightly adapted by new policy before being published in DPSP Annual.

5: Share Technical Design

See technical design


Personal Evaluation and Conlusions after ten years of DPSP

By Liesbeth Huppes Cluysenaer

Publishing on a Website

The idea of setting up a website[1] originally came from Esther Hoorn, a great grandchild of Paul Scholten and employed at the University Library in Groningen. We met at the book presentation of Dorsten naar Gerechtigheid, a re-edition of the first chapter of Paul Scholten’s Algemeen Deel and some Verzamelde Geschriften, selected and provided with an introduction by Timo Slootweg. The book presentation was held at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam. To my surprise, the Dean of the Faculty mentioned in his speech the likelihood that I would make an English translation of Algemeen Deel, an idea I had mentioned briefly in an earlier conversation about other things. During the drinks Esther inspired me to put the translation, which had turned into a near-fact, on a website as part of a larger project to make all of Paul Scholten’s work available in open access. She brought me in contact with Saskia Woutersen-Windhouwer, who then worked at the University Library of the University of Amsterdam (now Leiden).

People working at university libraries were at that time (2010) wondering why scholars made such little use of the new possibilities offered by website publishing, such as publishing in open access, enhancing publications with links and developing new forms of collaboration as described, e.g., in Reinventing Discovery by Michael Nielsen.[2] DPSP became a pilot project in open publishing. By simply getting started we would discover where the problems were.  It turned out to be an extremely difficult trajectory. The members of the board of DPSP were often driven to despair by the incomprehensible Newspeak we needed to learn to understand the domain in which we found ourselves by our attempt to use a website as a form of scientific publication. The publishing world would also change completely in the ten years that elapsed from the start of the project. A cartel developed between universities and some publishing houses around publishing in open access. This would marginalize most existing small scientific journals. From 2015 on it became increasingly clear that a scholarly article just posted on a website would not be acknowledged as a scientific publication.

Scientific Heritage

DPSP was more than a pilot for merely publishing in open access. It was first and foremost a project to preserve scientific heritage and to keep it publicly available. In the completion phase of the project, the board was confronted with the question of how the website would be preserved after financing by the faculty of law would stop in 2020 and the link with the University of Amsterdam would be cut.

How was the website to be hosted in the future? Ten years long the website had been hosted under my name. I paid the provider and the faculty paid me. In discussions about setting up a foundation to host the website, the appalling truth came to light that the website with the scanned and corrected works of Paul Scholten and the side to side presentations of the translations of his work, could not be saved from rapid fall into obscurity. Large publishing houses create visibility for their websites for advertising their products. Scientific sites, such as DPSP, despite drawing highly motivated readers, receive far fewer visitors. Without many visitors a website drops out of sight. This problem could easily be solved if, for example, universities would join together and set up a registration system for websites that have cultural significance. Web items could be tagged and identified with a number derived from a website’s registration number. Such identified web items could then be individually archived and cataloged by university libraries and thus be searchable.

There was no such registration system, however. As soon as it became clear that the board could do nothing to protect the website from a rapid descent into oblivion once the link with the faculty was cut, it no longer made sense to establish a hosting foundation for the website. It meant that the board had lost its function and that the website would remain in my personal possession. It was also considered to donate the website to a publisher, but then the website would become the property of the publisher, which does not ensure good livelihoods with an open access website that generates no earnings but only costs.

DPSP Annual: Continuation after Completion

An ISSN registration system exists for journals. If we were to tie the website to a journal it would be possible to remain visible and be archivable and catalogable. This became my plan: DPSP Annual would become a journal for which an ISSN registration could be acquired. This is in fact what happened. DPSP Annual has been launched and will contain the contributions to annual Paul Scholten symposia and will include new translations of the Collected Papers (Verzamelde Geschriften) which are relevant to the themes of the symposia.

I have chosen to be the journal’s only permanent editor and to collaborate with guest-editors to organize the symposia. DPSP Annual thus has an editing construction similar to the way special issues of a journal or contributed volumes for a publishing house are produced. The benefit now, however, is that contributions will be in open access and will have been subjected to open peer review.

The Publication Model of DPSP Annual

Of the three types of journal explained below, DPSP has opted for the third model.

1. Open access based on agreements between universities and publishers. Two journals have been selected from the domain of Dutch general jurisprudence: Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis/Revue d’Histoire du Droit/The Legal History Review, published by Brill, and the Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, published by Boom. The articles in these journals have a doi-number (digital-object-identifier) which makes them easily identifiable on the internet as articles in journals which have been qualified by universities as source of science. Sometimes these journals are called A-journals, suggesting that these journals have a high impact rate. It is by a decision of the assembled representatives of departments of general jurisprudence of the Dutch universities, however, that these journals are qualified. Because of their doi-number the articles in these journals are automatically cataloged and archived.

2. Not open access. Many academic journals existed before the open access policy of the Universities became dominant. Publications in these journals do not have a doi-number for automatic cataloguing and archival. In consultation with their faculties, university libraries attach, solely for their own staff, a PDF with a Handle-number, which is equivalent to the doi-numbers, to catalog and archive these publications. The human resource and research policy of the faculties determines which articles of the staff will be processed in this way.

3. Open Access not based on agreements between universities and publishers. The publications in DPSP Annual are in open access and have been subjected to an open peer review procedure. As such the journal is eligible for registration by doaj.org (Directory of Open Access Journals). However, DPSP lacks the required institutional university embedding. DPSP Annual will have to rely on Google Scholar’s “Inclusion Guidelines for Webmasters”. It is not easy to interpret these guidelines correctly and to apply them correctly. In addition to creating good machine readability for Google Scholar in this way, it is necessary that the articles are correctly referenced in research articles. Authors can improve the findability of their articles by making use of open access and posting the article on well-known forums with the correct reference to the publication source.


I would first of all like to thank Edgar du Perron for giving me the opportunity to initiate the Paul Scholten project. In a rather unconventional way he turned a complaint I made about the human resource policy in the Department of General Jurisprudence into a challenge to me to show what I could do if I had the opportunity to do research my way. I would also like to thank Laurens Winkel, who as Chair supported the project with his large international network of scholars and his broad knowledge of legal history. Importantly, from the start it was clear that Laurens and I had opposite opinions about two essential things. First, Laurens thought that it would turn out to be impossible to administer a publication project on a website, exactly what I aimed to do. Second, Laurens thought it scientifically unacceptable to think – as I did – that a researcher who could not fluently read ancient Greek, could have a divergent interpretation of the old texts of Aristotle, and could even think that it would be possible to interpret Paul Scholten in the framework of Aristotelian philosophy. This was also exactly what I proposed to do. These could have been reasons for him not to become a member of the board, let alone become its chair. The point was that Laurens knew that without somebody like me, Paul Scholten would soon be no more than one or two obligatory references in many articles, while I knew that Laurens’ opinion was largely shared by legal philosophers and that his support would be very important to keep the project alive. Both issues have dogged the project. Patience and endurance have been necessary to stay the course. I have explained earlier how the careful analysis of the difficulties of publishing in open access was made possible in board discussions by the expertise of Esther Hoorn and Saskia Woutersen-Windhouwer, and how this in the end helped to fully understand the problem.

The issue about Aristotle also required exceptional care. The Second Scholten Symposium, On Law and Emotion in 2014, was combined with the workshop Aristotle: Law, Reason and Emotion to make a book proposal for Springer. We hoped to use this combination and publication by Springer to legitimize application of my expertise on Aristotle in interpreting Paul Scholten’s work. Even though the Symposium was financed by the Faculty of Law, there was serious opposition from some members of my department. Laurens’ support proved, however, to be enough to have a successful workshop. During the workshop it became clear how frustrating the prohibition on the scientific use of Aristotle was, and how this bar enabled the defense and conservation of false attributions to Aristotle.

A deep crisis for the Paul Scholten project emerged in November 2016 when a rumor circulated at the faculty that Springer, after having initially accepted the proposal, intended to refuse the manuscript due to poor quality. To save the Paul Scholten project it would have to be untied from Aristotle. The Editorial Board went into a lockdown. In the middle of 2017 Springer gave notice that it was willing to publish the book, Aristotle on Emotions in Law and Politics, after allLaurens was the first to congratulate me and from that moment on, the Aristotle issue was resolved. The Board could resume its work.

Great is my gratitude to my former colleagues André Hoekema and Niels van Manen, both of whom became members of the project’s Advisory Board. We worked together for many years, and in addition to many good memories of our many discussions in our unit of legal sociology, to which also Agnes Schreiner, Robert Knegt, Joris Kocken, Frank van Ree, Wibo van Rossem, Damir Urem and the guest Sietse Steenstra belonged, I have been especially inspired by André’s and Niel’s theoretical work in their book, Typen van Legaliteit (Types of Legality). Their book reveals in a seminal way how sociology has influenced legal practice. We have discussed the topic of formal rationality for many hours, which according to their book is the traditional concept of law. On this I have a different opinion. I thought that they tangled up two different concepts of law in their type of formal rational legality. DPSP is concerned to disentangle these two concepts.  The unit of legal sociology was bargained away out of the blue in a sudden change of plans during a reorganization. As a result of this, Niels and André made a career change and after some years, I ended up with the Paul Scholten project. This project was a continuation of the theoretical work I had been doing all along, and I was glad that the project provided the opportunity to continue my collaboration with them. They were co-organizers of our first Scholten symposium; Niels contributed a keynote speech to it; André laid the basis for the third symposium and supported the project financially with a substantial contribution. Niels intervened significantly in the last phase of the project to help clarify my choice to continue the project in a personal capacity.

The contribution of Marjanne Termorshuizen-Arts has been invaluable to the project. Together with native speaker Cassandra Steer, she was a member of the translation committee. She discovered the existence of the two Indonesian translations of Algemeen Deel in the National Archives and helped get them online. She co-organized the third symposium, along with Adriaan Bedner. Above all, she became a good friend who supported me with welcome short notes and supportive comments. Antoinette Muntjewerff was the energetic and cheerful liaison officer between the Board and the Department of General Jurisprudence. Bram Scholten, Paul Scholten’s grandson, was the person who with silent diplomacy kept the Board together and who gave me the courage to move forward at a number of decisive moments. In the last phase of the project, in 2019, Bram tried to figure out along with Saskia if the DPSP-website could be integrated into the web system of the University of Amsterdam in a manner that could protect it from dropping off into oblivion. Although no clear answer materialized, the process in itself was an answer by making clear that no clear answer would ever be given. This finally brought home the conclusion that the Board could do nothing to protect ten years of work from being forgotten. And so the function of the Board came to its end.

In this context I would also like to thank Pieter Bon from Wolters Kluwer, who in the period 2015/2016 conferred with me about the possibilities of publishing the project. It did not lead to a concrete result, but one meeting in particular in Deventer between people of the firm and members of the Board was very important. We learned that the problems we had detected were acknowledged by the firm and this generated some common understanding about possible solutions.

Jelmer van der Ploeg kept the costs of programming low by continually forcing me to be precise in formulating what I wanted to realize on the website and why. For elaborating the theoretical substance of my interest in Scholten, I am grateful for long discussions with Rens van Zaltbommel and Gerard Drosterij; the latter especially also for reading and texting about Aristotle.

Further, I want to thank Jean-Louis Halpérin, Jaakko Husa and Burkhard Schafer for finding financial support from their respective universities to support a proposal for submission to NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) in 2011. The fact that NWO gave a thumbs up to the project on eligibility (it did not select it for funding), enabled us to receive financial support from the Faculty of Law. All three scholars were invited as keynote speakers for the First Paul Scholten Symposium and two of their contributions were published in DPSP Annual 2020.

Finally, I want to thank all authors and reviewers who contributed to the first volume of DPSP Annual. Some had to wait long time before their article was finally “officially” published. I have experienced for myself, what I had heard from other contributed volume editors, that as an editor you learn an incredible amount from your authors. And finally, I want to thank Jacqueline Schoonheim who succeeded Cassandra Steer in editing the English language on the website. She has helped me in particular with her “outsider” comment on issues that would not be informative for a non-Dutch reader or were altogether too vague.



[1] This evaluation was written in 2020 on the occasion of the completion of the Digital Paul Scholten project (DPSP) and the coming online of a new website, by Liesbeth Huppes-Cluysenaer.

[2] Michael Nielsen, Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science. (S.l.: Princeton University Press, 2012).



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