Jurisprudence as Narrative: An Aesthetic Analysis of Modern Legal Theory
68 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2011 Last revised: 20 Jan 2011
Date Written: 1985
Recent legal scholarship has engaged in a growing dialogue tying literary criticism to jurisprudence. In this article, Professor Robin West adds her voice by advocating the reading of legal theory as a form of narrative. Drawing from Northrop Frye's "Anatomy of Criticism," Professor West first details four literary myths that combine contrasting world visions and narrative methods. She then applies Frye's categories to Anglo-American jurisprudential traditions and employs aesthetic principles to analyze influential legal theorists within these traditions. Finally, Professor West argues that recognizing the aesthetic dimension of legal debate frees us to realize our moral ideals.
Keywords: law and literature, aesthetic analysis, modern legal theory, myths, narrative, natural law, positivism, liberalism, statism
JEL Classification: K10, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation