Realistic Socio-Legal Theory: Pragmatism and a Social Theory of Law

(1997), Oxford University Press.

Posted: 29 Oct 1997

See all articles by Brian Z. Tamanaha

Brian Z. Tamanaha

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law

Abstract

Realistic Socio-Legal Theory draws upon philosophical pragmatism, the philosophy of social science, and several decades of empirical studies from the fields of legal anthropology, legal sociology, and political science, to revisit core issues in legal theory. It articulates an epistemological and methodological foundation for the social scientific study of law, and addresses, among other issues, the fact/value distinction, the relationship between behaviorism and interpretivism, the concept of law, the constitution and variety of legal practices, the nature of a legal system, the problem of indeterminacy, and the structure of judicial decision making. The book attempts to satisfy three distinct objectives: to better inform legal theory of the findings of socio-legal studies, to better inform socio-legal studies of the concerns of legal theory, and, finally, to render both fields more realistic in orientation.

Suggested Citation

Tamanaha, Brian Z., Realistic Socio-Legal Theory: Pragmatism and a Social Theory of Law. (1997), Oxford University Press.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=11522

Brian Z. Tamanaha (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

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