edited by Peter Fitzpatrick
Duke University Press, 1991
Cloth: 978-0-8223-1140-9 | Paper: 978-0-8223-1121-8
Library of Congress Classification K212.D36 1991
Dewey Decimal Classification 340.1

In Dangerous Supplements expert legal scholars employing a variety of theoretical perspectives—feminism, poststructuralism, semiotics, and Marxism—challenge predominating views in jurisprudence. Prevailing notions of the nature of the law, they argue, have failed to recognize the law’s dependence on social constructs and the indeterminance of language. The contributors further claim that proponents of traditional notions have borrowed knowledge from other fields, only to reject that knowledge as ultimately subversive and dangerous in its ramifications.
Taking as a point of departure H. L. A. Hart’s The Concept of the Law, Peter Fitzgerald shows how Hart adopted Wittgenstein’s linguistic theory to overthrow J. L. Austin’s “simple” conception of rules and habits in law, only to jettison this theory in order to locate the essence of law in its evolution from a “primal scene.” Other chapters examine the way in which the setting of English law above social relations has masked an imperial mission; how the philosophies of Hayek and Marx, as well as the discourses of liberalism, feminism, semiotics, and poststructuralism, have been assiduously marginalized and rendered inessential to jurisprudence.

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