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Legal Realism Regained: Saving Realism from Critical Acclaim
by Wouter de Been
Stanford University Press, 2008
Cloth: 978-0-8047-5659-4 | eISBN: 978-0-8047-8752-9

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Legal Realism Regained presents a comparison between the legal realists, a group of pragmatic legal theorists from the 1920s and 1930s, and critical legal studies, a movement of postmodern legal theory during the end of the twentieth century. The book argues for a return to legal realism and the classical pragmatism of John Dewey and William James and for a rejection of the postmodern critique of critical legal studies. It discusses the two movements with respect to three topics: their view of history, their view of social science, and their view of language.

Rejecting the claim that critical legal studies can be seen as the heir of legal realism, Legal Realism Regained argues that, with respect to each of these three topics, the realists still present a stronger argument than their more radical descendants.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY
Wouter de Been works as a researcher for the Wiardi Beckman Foundation in Amsterdam, a research institution affiliated with the Dutch Labour Party.
REVIEWS

"Legal Realism Revisited is an ambitious book, which revisits the relationship between legal realism and critical legal studies in an interesting and provocative way. The discussion in the book is learned, thorough, and quite sophisticated." —Hanoch Dagan, Tel-Aviv University

"Discussions of American Legal Realism as a movement in legal thought are numerous, but seldom enlightening. Wouter de Been's Legal Realism Revisited is a notable exception. His patient reconstruction of the topic is a model of the intellectual historian's craft. In particular, his discussion of the role of functionalism in realist writing clarifies many issues that earlier authors have left murky." — John H. Schlegel, University at Buffalo Law School

"Wouter de Been provides a thorough and sophisticated look at oft-neglected elements of legal realism and critical legal studies, details differences between the two movements, and offers a compelling argument for the continuing vitality of certain components of legal realism. The author displays an impressive mastery not only of the movements themselves, but also of underlying concepts drawn from history, sociology, law and philosophy." —Adam Shajnfeld, Columbia

TABLE OF CONTENTS
    Contents
    Preface
    1. Tale of Two Movements
    A Twice Told Tale
    The Realism of Legal Realism
    Langdellian Orthodoxy
    The Realist Critique
    The Legacy of Legal Realism
    The Critical Legal Studies Movement: Realism meets Radicalism
    The Problem
    Historicism
    Social Science
    Language
    Method
    E Pluribus Unum
    2. The Seeds of Time: Legal Realism and Legal History
    In the Footsteps of Oliver Wendell Holmes
    The Evolution of Evolutionary Theory: From Social Darwinism to 
    Scientific Naturalism
    Oliver Wendell Holmes v. Herbert Spencer
    Scientific Naturalism
    Realist Legal History
    Conclusion
    3. The Wealth of Historicism: Legal History in the Critical Mold
    Clio Unleashed
    The Problem with Functionalism and Adaptationism
    Conclusion
    4. You Keep Samin= when You Ought to Be Changin=: The Realist 
    Turn to Social Science
    The Llewellyn-Pound Exchange
    Realism in the Age of Relativity
    Functionalism
    Predictivism
    Instrumentalism
    The UCC
    Conclusion
    5. Oh, the Tangled Webs We Weave: The CLS Critique of Social 
    Science
    Social Science as Politics
    Critique of Science and Reason
    The Poverty of Functionalism
    Conclusion
    6. Night of the Living Dead: Legal Realist Anti-Conceptualism
    Meaning as Reference
    Meaning in a Functionalist Framework
    Legal Realism and Language
    Conclusion
    7. The World Well Lost: Variations on the Linguistic Theme
    A Portrait of Wittgenstein as a Radical Philosopher
    CLS and Post-Structuralism
    The Fragmentation of CLS
    Conclusion
    8. These Boots Were Made For Walking: The Continued Relevance of 
    Legal Realism
    The Revival of Pragmatism
    Pragmatism and History
    Pragmatism and Social Science
    Value-Free or Purposive Social Science
    Behaviorism v. Interpretivism
    Pragmatism and Language
    Paradigms
    Incommensurability
    Interpretation
    Conclusion
    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index
    



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