dunnettreader + article + legal_reasoning   11

Brian Z. Tamanaha - The Third Pillar of Jurisprudence: Social Legal Theory :: SSRN - William & Mary Law Review, Vol. 56, 2015
Jurisprudence is generally thought to consist of two main classical rival branches — natural law and legal positivism — followed by a bunch of modern schools — legal realism, law and economics, critical theory, legal pragmatism, etc. In this essay I argue that three main branches of jurisprudence have existed, and battled, for centuries, not two, but the third goes unrecognized as such because it has traveled under different labels and the underlying connections have been clouded by various confusions. The core insights and focus of this third branch, what I call “Social Legal Theory,” trace in a continuous thread from Montesquieu, through historical jurisprudence, sociological jurisprudence, and legal realism, up to the present. This third branch, I argue, provides a contrasting/complementary perspective, in conjunction with natural law and legal positivism, which rounds out the full range of theoretical angles on law: natural law is normative; legal positivism is analytical/conceptual; and social legal theory is empirical. (Among a number of clarifications, I answer the common objection that empirically-grounded theories are not sufficiently theoretical.) The conventional jurisprudential narrative is redrawn in this essay in a way that exposes unseen connections among theoretical schools and brings into focus critical issues about the nature of law that currently are marginalized by natural law and legal positivism. -- Pages in PDF File: 44 -- Keywords: Jurisprudence, legal philosophy, law and society, legal realism, legal development, legal history
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  jurisprudence  legal_theory  legal_reasoning  positivism-legal  natural_law  legal_realism  legal_history  sociology_of_law  social_order  social_theory  change-social  intellectual_history  intellectual_history-distorted  18thC  19thC  20thC  Montesquieu  pragmatism  downloaded 
october 2015 by dunnettreader
Leo E. Strine , Nicholas Walter Originalist or Original: The Difficulties of Reconciling "Citizens United" with Corporate Law History :: SSRN - Notre Dame Law Review, 2015, Forthcoming (rev'd March 2015)
Leo E. Strine Jr., Supreme Court of Delaware; Harvard Law School; Penn Law School -- Nicholas Walter, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz -- Citizens United has been the subject of a great deal of commentary, but one important aspect of the decision that has not been explored in detail is the historical basis for Justice Scalia’s claims in his concurring opinion that the majority holding is consistent with originalism. In this article, we engage in a deep inquiry into the historical understanding of the rights of the business corporation as of 1791 and 1868 — two periods relevant to an originalist analysis of the First Amendment. Based on the historical record, Citizens United is far more original than originalist, and if the decision is to be justified, it has to be on jurisprudential grounds originalists traditionally disclaim as illegitimate. -- PDF File: 94 -- Keywords: Jurisprudence, constitutional interpretation, original intent, original understanding, originalism, election law, campaign finance reform, corporate personhood, general corporation statutes, political speech, First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  corporate_law  corporate_citizenship  US_constitution  constitutional_law  originalism  free_speech  civil_liberties  legal_history  legal_theory  legal_reasoning  elections  campaign_finance  politics-and-money  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Lawrence B. Solum - Originalism and Constitutional Construction by :: SSRN - 82 Fordham L. Rev. 453 (2013)
Georgetown University Law Center -- Constitutional interpretation is the activity that discovers the communicative content or linguistic meaning of the constitutional text. Constitutional construction is the activity that determines the legal effect given the text, including doctrines of constitutional law and decisions of constitutional cases or issues by judges and other officials. The interpretation-construction distinction, frequently invoked by contemporary constitutional theorists and rooted in American legal theory in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, marks the difference between these two activities. (..) Part I of this Article situates the idea of constitutional construction in the context of contemporary debates about originalism and among originalists. Part II argues that the interpretation-construction distinction provides conceptual clarity and answers a variety of objections to the distinction itself and the use of the terms “interpretation” and “construction” to express the distinction. Part III advances the claim that construction is ubiquitous; Part IV makes the case for the ineliminability of the construction zone. Part V discusses the relationship between constitutional construction and debates about originalism and living constitutionalism. A conclusion follows. -- PDF File: 85 -- Keywords: constitution, interpretation, construction, interpretation-construction distinction, vagueness, ambiguity, original methods, deference, constraint -- saved to briefcase
article  SSRN  constitutional_law  US_constitution  legal_theory  legal_reasoning  originalism 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Nicola Lacey - Jurisprudence, History, and the Institutional Quality of Law (Symposium - Jurisprudence and (Its) History) | Virginia Law Review - 101 Va. L. Rev. 919 (2015)
A cri de coeur for putting legal theory and history back together with social theory and empirical social sciences,. -- In the early part of my career, legal history and the history of legal ideas were closed books to me, as I made my way in a field of criminal law scholarship dominated by doctrinal scholarship and by concept-focused philosophical analysis of the foundations of criminal law. These 2 very different paradigms have 1 big thing in common: They tend to proceed as if the main intellectual task is to unearth the deep logic of existing legal doctrines, not infrequently going so far as to read them back onto history, as if things could never have been other than they are. (..)I have increasingly found myself turning to historical resources (1) [to examine] the contingency of particular legal arrangements, and (2) ...to develop causal and other theses about the dynamics which shape them and hence about the role and quality of criminal law as a form of power in modern societies. So, in a sense, I have been using history in support of an analysis driven primarily by the social sciences. (..) it is no accident that all of the great social theorists, from Marx to Foucault via Weber, Durkheim, and Elias, ..have incorporated significant historical elements into their interpretations .... Indeed, without the diachronic perspective provided by history (or the perspective offered by comparative study) we could have no critical purchase on social theory’s characterizations of or causal hypotheses about the dynamics of social systems. Hence, (...) my boundless gratitude to the historians whose meticulous research makes this sort of interpretive social theory possible). -- Lacey is not over-dramatizing -- see the "commentary" from a "legal philosopher" who believes the normative basis of criminal responsibility can be investigated as timeless "moral truths". -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  social_theory  historical_sociology  historical_change  institutions  institutional_change  philosophy_of_law  philosophical_anthropology  philosophy_of_social_science  jurisprudence  legal_theory  analytical_philosophy  concepts  morality-conventional  morality-objective  criminal_justice  responsibility  mind  human_nature  norms  power-asymmetric  power-symbolic  power  Neoplatonism  neo-Kantian  a_priori  historiography  intellectual_history  political_philosophy  political_culture  moral_philosophy  evidence  mental_health  social_order  epistemology  epistemology-moral  change-social  change-intellectual  comparative_law  comparative_anthropology  civil_liberties  women-rights  women-property  rights-legal  rights-political  access_to_services  discrimination  legal_culture  legal_system  legal_reasoning  Foucault  Marx  Weber  Durkheim  metaethics  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Gerald J. Postema - Jurisprudence, the Sociable Science (Symposium - Jurisprudence and (Its) History) | Virginia Law Review - 101 Va. L. Rev. 869 (2015)
Renaissance jurisprudence strove to be a sociable science. Following Ulpian’s lead, it refused to relegate jurisprudence either to pure speculation or to mere practice. Jurisprudence was a science, a matter of knowledge and of theoretical understanding, not merely an applied art or practice of prudence innocent of theory. It was regarded as the very heart of theoretical studies, drawing to itself all that the traditional sciences of theology, metaphysics, and moral philosophy, as well as the newly emerging humanist sciences of philology and hermeneutics, had to offer. No less resolutely, however, it refused to abandon its foothold in the life of practice. (..) Rather than reject philosophical reflection, (..) Renaissance jurists sought to locate it in concrete human life and experience. (..) Philosophy.., was most true to its vocation, and was most engaged in human life, when its reflections were anchored in the social life acknowledged, comprehended, and informed by and informing law. Jurisprudence, vera philosophia, was ...the point at which the theoretical and the practical intersected (..) at its “sociable” best sought to integrate them. Analytic jurisprudence began as self-consciously, even militantly, “unsociable,” and its matured and much-sophisticated descendant, fin de siècle analytic legal philosophy, remained largely if not exclusively so. (..) It may be time, in this period of self-conscious attention to jurisprudential method, to press beyond the current limits of this debate over method to a reassessment of the ambitions of jurisprudence and of philosophy’s role in it. (..) my aim is not critical but constructive. (..) to recover something of the ideal of jurisprudence as a sociable science, to retrieve as much as our disenchanted age can be challenged to embrace, or at least to entertain, of the ambition of jurisprudence as vera philosophia. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jurisprudence  philosophy_of_law  social_theory  social_sciences  intellectual_history  Renaissance  16thC  17thC  18thC  19thC  20thC  common_law  moral_philosophy  morality-conventional  norms  analytical_philosophy  concepts  concepts-change  change-social  change-intellectual  social_order  legal_history  legal_theory  legal_reasoning  pragmatism  Peirce  continuity  historical_change  methodology-qualitative  downloaded 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Charles Barzun and Dan Priel - Jurisprudence and (Its) History - Symposium Introduction | Virginia Law Review 101 Va. L. Rev. 849 (2015)
Whereas legal philosophers offer “analyses” that aim to be general, abstract, and timeless, legal historians offer “thick descriptions” of what is particular, concrete, and time-bound. But surface appearances can deceive. Perhaps unlike other areas of philosophy, the subject matter of jurisprudence is at least partially (if not entirely) a social phenomenon. Courts, legislatures, judicial orders, and statutes are the products of human efforts, both collective and individual, and they only exist as legislatures, courts, and the like insofar as they possess the meaning they do in the eyes of at least some social group. For this reason, legal philosophers since at least H.L.A. Hart have recognized their task to be a “hermeneutic” one—one which aims to discern or make explicit the “self-understanding” of legal actors. At the same time, legal historians aim not simply to record legal rules that existed at some given point in history, but to unearth the meaning that actual people—judges, lawyers, politicians, and ordinary citizens—have attached to law. When they do so, they might be seen as uncovering evidence of those same “self-understandings” that philosophers claim constitute law. Perhaps, then, philosophical and historical inquiries about law do not differ so radically from each other after all. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  philosophy_of_law  philosophy_of_language  ordinary_language_philosophy  jurisprudence  political_philosophy  moral_philosophy  intellectual_history  historiography  legal_history  legal_theory  legal_reasoning  constitutional_law  Founders  originalism  contextualism  change-social  change-economic  change-intellectual  norms  hermeneutics  positivism-legal  philosophy_of_history  institutional_change  downloaded 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
John Mikhail - The Constitution and the Philosophy of Language: Entailment, Implicature, and Implied Powers :: SSRN - Virginia Law Review, Vol. 101, No. 4, 2015 (rev'd June 11 2015)
Georgetown University Law Center -- The main purpose of this Article is to begin to recover and elucidate the core textual basis of a progressive approach to constitutional law, which appears to have been embraced in essential respects by many influential figures, including Wilson, Hamilton, Marshall, and the two Roosevelts, and which rests on an implied power to promote the general welfare. To pursue this objective, the Article relies on two strange bedfellows: the law of corporations and the philosopher Paul Grice. An ordinary language philosopher like Grice, (..) might seem like an unlikely ally to enlist in this endeavor. (..) underestimating the significance of Grice’s ideas for constitutional law would be a mistake. Plausibly interpreted, the Constitution vests an implied power in the Government of the United States to promote the general welfare, and Grice’s distinction between semantic and pragmatic implication is a helpful means of understanding why. After a general introduction, the Article first summarizes some key aspects of Grice’s philosophy of language and then briefly illustrates their relevance for constitutional law. The remainder of the Article is then devoted to explaining how, along with a relatively simple principle in the law of corporations, according to which a legal corporation is implicitly vested with the power to fulfill its purposes, Grice’s distinction between semantic and pragmatic implication helps to illuminate a thorny problem of enduring interest: What powers does the Constitution vest in the Government of the United States? -- Pages in PDF File: 41 -- Keywords: James Wilson, Charles Beard, James Madison, Gouverneur Morris, Paul Grice, constitution, implication, implicature, entailment, semantics, pragmatics, implied powers, enumerated powers, preamble, vesting clause, necessary and proper clause, sweeping clause, tenth amendment, originalism -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  philosophy_of_language  ordinary_language_philosophy  legal_reasoning  constitutional_law  US_constitution  US_history  federalism  US_government  US_legal_system  originalism  common_good  commonwealth  progressivism  Founders  Madison  Morris_Gouverneur  downloaded 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Deborah Hellman, Commentary on Mikhail's "The Constitution and the Philosophy of Language: Entailment, Implicature, and Implied Powers" | Virginia Law Review - 101 Va. L. Rev. 1105 (2015)
Mikhail uses these insights about language and communication to say something about constitutional interpretation. But that is where the trouble begins. While Mikhail offers a masterful textual analysis of the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution, I am not convinced that his analysis demonstrates its meaning, and if it does, I fear that Mikhail’s efforts yield the perverse consequence of delegitimizing the very document he is at great pains to enlarge. In what follows, I raise three worries about Mikhail’s analysis. First, a constitution is not a conversation between its drafters and some other people and, as a result, it is unclear whether the Gricean paradigm has anything useful to say about constitutional interpretation. Second, it is far from clear what a constitution is for and consequently there are unlikely to be accepted conventions about how to interpret the meaning of statements within them. Third, Mikhail’s article presents evidence that the Constitution’s drafters were strategic and crafty. But if the drafters are violating the cooperative principle Grice identified, this fact calls into doubt the significance of the ratification of the Constitution from which that document, purportedly, derives its legitimacy. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  legal_theory  legal_reasoning  constitutional_law  philosophy_of_language  philosophy_of_law  Founders  legitimacy  US_constitution  downloaded 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Thomas Colby and Peter J. Smith - The Return of Lochner :: SSRN - April 2015 - Cornell Law Review, Vol. 100, No. 527, 2015
Both at GW Law School - For a very long time, it has been an article of faith among liberals and conservatives alike that Lochner v. New York was obviously and irredeemably wrong. Lochner is one of only a few cases that constitute our “anticanon,” universally reviled by the legal community as the “worst of the worst.” (..) conservatives are ready, once again, to embrace Lochner — although perhaps not in name — by recommitting to some form of robust judicial protection for economic rights. (...) this impending change has been greatly facilitated by important modifications to the theory of originalism, which has served for nearly a half century as the intellectual framework for conservative legal thought (..) and it has now evolved to the point where it can plausibly accommodate claims that the Constitution protects economic liberty. (..) how legal movements evolve generally. Sometimes the courts change the doctrine, and the theorists scramble to keep up. This is, roughly speaking, what happened with liberal legal thought in the second half of the 20thC. Just when liberal legal theorists, reeling from the Lochner era, had settled on the view that the courts should exercise judicial review very sparingly — and perhaps never to enforce rights not specifically identified in the Constitution — the liberal Court began to exercise judicial review more frequently and aggressively, often to protect rights not clearly identified in the Constitution. Liberal theorists then struggled for years to develop an account of the appropriate judicial role that condemned Lochner but legitimized later cases protecting fundamental rights and vulnerable minorities. Modern conservative legal thought seems to be following the opposite progression: the theorists lead, the opinion leaders gradually sign on, and judges eventually follow. — conservatives have patiently waited for the theory to come together — for the blueprints to be drawn — before moving forward. But the plans are now largely ready, and we expect that it will not be long before the bulldozers break ground. - 77 pages saved to SSRN briefcase
article  SSRN  SCOTUS  libertarianism  US_constitution  US_legal_system  legal_history  legal_theory  legal_reasoning  constitutional_law  civil_liberties  liberty-negative  laisser-faire  freedom_of_contract  freedom_of_conscience  equality  judicial_review 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Francis Joseph Mootz - Hermeneutics and Law (June 30, 2014) in The Blackwell Companion to Hermeneutics (Eds. Naill Keane and Chris Lawn, 2015) :: SSRN
University of the Pacific - McGeorge School of Law -- This chapter will appear in a forthcoming book on hermeneutics. After providing a hermeneutical phenomenology of legal practice that locates legal interpretation at the center of the rule of law, the chapter considers three important hermeneutical themes: (1) the critical distinction between a legal historian writing aboout a law in the past and a judge deciding a case according to the law; (2) the reinvigoration of the natural law tradition against the reductive characteristics of legal positivism by construing human nature as hermeneutical; and. (3) the role of philosophical hermeneutics in grounding critical legal theory rather than serving as a quiescent acceptance of the status quo, as elaborated by reconsidering the famous exchanges between Gadamer, Ricoeur and Habermas. -- I argue that these three important themes are sufficient to underwrite Gadamer's famous assertion that legal practice has exemplary status for hermeneutical theory. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  books  SSRN  legal_history  legal_system  legal_theory  historiography  lit_crit  critical_theory  legal_reasoning  judiciary  precedent  hermeneutics  natural_law  positivism-legal  legal_realism  rhetoric-writing  human_nature  epistemology-social  epistemology-moral  Gadamer  Habermas  Ricoeur  Heidegger  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Stephen Paskey - The Law is Made of Stories: Erasing the False Dichotomy between Stories and Legal Rules (May 30, 2014) :: SSRN
SUNY Buffalo Law School -- Legal Comm. & Rhetoric: JALWD, vol. 11 (Fall 2014, Forthcoming) - SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-031 -- When lawyers think of legal analysis, they think chiefly of logic and reason. Stories are secondary. As Michael Smith explains, our legal system “is not founded on narrative reasoning” but on “a commitment to the rule of law.” The article suggests that this dichotomy between “rule-based reasoning” and “narrative reasoning” is false, and that narrative and stories are central to legal reasoning, including rule-based reasoning. In doing so, the article uses literary narrative theory to show that every governing legal rule has the structure of a “stock story”: the elements of the rule correspond to elements of a story. It follows that lawyers do not rely on stories simply because they are persuasive. They do so because a story is literally embedded in the structure of governing rules, and those rules can be satisfied only by telling a story. Thus, many analytical moves we label “rule-based reasoning” can be understood as a type of narrative reasoning, in which a client’s story is compared to and contrasted with the stock story embedded in the rule. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  legal_system  legal_theory  narrative  legal_reasoning  logic  precedent  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader

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