The Limits of Legal Realism

40 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2010

Date Written: November 10, 2010


This article will address some criticisms of legal realism, primarily those of H.L.A. Hart, that have been unanswered in the literature and have appeared to discredit the realist approach to law. The article will also articulate what I believe to be more difficult problems with legal realism.

Keywords: Legal Realism, Positivism, Judicial Decisions, H.L.A. Hart

JEL Classification: K40, K49, K10, K30

Suggested Citation

D'Amato, Anthony, The Limits of Legal Realism (November 10, 2010). Yale Law Journal, Vol. 87, No. 3, 1978; Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 10-76. Available at SSRN:

Anthony D'Amato (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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