The Aesthetics of American Law

73 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2020

See all articles by Pierre Schlag

Pierre Schlag

University of Colorado Law School


Before the ethical dreams and political ambitions of law can even be articulated, let alone realized, the aesthetics of law have already shaped the medium within which those projects will have to do their work. This work attempts to retrieve and expose those recurrent forms that shape the creation, apprehension, and identity of law. What is at stake is an attempt to reveal the aesthetics within which American law is cast. The point is not simply to appreciate these aesthetics, but to understand how "substantive" conflicts in law are often motivated, sustained and circumscribed by the aesthetics through which they are manifested.

Keywords: jurisprudence, aesthetics of law

JEL Classification: K19, K39, K49

Suggested Citation

Schlag, Pierre, The Aesthetics of American Law. Harvard Law Review, Vol. 115, 2002, U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 07-08, Available at SSRN:

Pierre Schlag (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

UCB 401
Boulder, CO colorado 80309
United States
303-492-3110 (Phone)
303-492-1200 (Fax)

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