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Nietzsche in Law's Cathedral: Beyond Reason and Postmodernism


John Linarelli


Durham University

June 30, 2003


Abstract:     
Nietzsche had very little to say about law and what he did say is fragmentary and sporadic. Nietzsche's philosophy, however, offers a basis for theorizing about law. I use Nietzsche's important works to interpret two major movements in legal thought. The first part of the paper examines how Nietzsche's philosophy augments our understanding of deontological theories about the law. Nietzsche produced a substantial ethical theory. The second part of the paper examines how Nietzsche's philosophy helps us to understand law and economics. Nietzsche had a great deal to say about the intellectual predecessor to law and economics, utilitarianism, and his critique of utilitarianism offers insights into law and economics and its intellectual history. Further, Nietzsche elaborated a philosophy of science that extends to and offers insights about "analytical" social sciences such as economics.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

Keywords: legal theory, Nietzsche

JEL Classification: K1, K10, K19

working papers series





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Date posted: August 11, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Linarelli, John, Nietzsche in Law's Cathedral: Beyond Reason and Postmodernism (June 30, 2003). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=421040 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.421040

Contact Information

John Linarelli (Contact Author)
Durham University ( email )
Law School
Palatine Centre
Durham, England DH1 3LE
United Kingdom
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