Legal Innovation within the Wider Intellectual Tradition: The Pragmatism of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Catharine P. Wells
Boston College - Law School
Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 82, 1988
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. is one of the dominant figures in American jurisprudence. As a scholar, he wrote prolifically about legal theory and legal history. His book The Common Law is one of the most influential studies of the common law tradition; it has shaped the views of American legal scholars for several generations. In addition, Holmes spent nearly forty years as a judge-first as a justice on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and later as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. On the bench, Holmes was a formidable presence influencing the development of American law. His judicial opinions are both numerous and memorable. More than fifty years after his death, casebooks still include many of his opinions and legal periodicals frequently contain analyses of his judicial philosophy.' Indeed, Holmes is so central to the American legal tradition that understanding what Holmes thought about law is an important step in understanding one's own thoughts on legal theory.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 55Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 8, 2013
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