Overcoming Law

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 1995 - Law - 597 pages
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Legal theory must become more factual and empirical and less conceptual and polemical, Richard Posner argues in this wide-ranging new book. The topics covered include the structure and behavior of the legal profession; constitutional theory; gender, sex, and race theories; interdisciplinary approaches to law; the nature of legal reasoning; and legal pragmatism. Posner analyzes, in witty and passionate prose, schools of thought as different as social constructionism and institutional economics, and scholars and judges as different as Bruce Ackerman, Robert Bork, Ronald Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, Richard Rorty, and Patricia Williams. He also engages challenging issues in legal theory that range from the motivations and behavior of judges and the role of rhetoric and analogy in law to the rationale for privacy and blackmail law and the regulation of employment contracts. Although written by a sitting judge, the book does not avoid controversy; it contains frank appraisals of radical feminist and race theories, the behavior of the German and British judiciaries in wartime, and the excesses of social constructionist theories of sexual behavior.

Throughout, the book is unified by Posner's distinctive stance, which is pragmatist in philosophy, economic in methodology, and liberal (in the sense of John Stuart Mill's liberalism) in politics. Brilliantly written, eschewing jargon and technicalities, it will make a major contribution to the debate about the role of law in our society.

  

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Review: Overcoming Law

User Review  - Gautam Patel - Goodreads

Keep coming back to this: there is so much in it, and something new on each reading. Read full review

Review: Overcoming Law

User Review  - Craig J. - Goodreads

Overcoming Law by Richard A. Posner (1996) Read full review

Contents

Introduction Pragmatism Economics Liberalism
1
Part One The Profession
31
The Material Basis of Jurisprudence
33
The Triumphs and Travails of Legal Scholarship
81
What Do Judges Maximize?
109
Germany and Britain
145
Part Two Constitutional Theory
169
Legal Reasoning from the Top Down and from the
171
Ms Aristotle
329
Biology Economics and the Radical Feminist Critique of
335
Obsessed with Pornography
357
Nuance Narrative and Empathy in Critical Race Theory
368
Part Five Philosophical and Economic Perspectives
385
So What Has Pragmatism to Offer Law?
387
Ronald Coase and Methodology
406
The New Institutional Economics Meets Law and
426

Have We Constitutional Theory?
198
Legal Positivism without Positive Law
215
What Am I? A Potted Plant?
229
Bork and Beethoven
237
Part Three Variety and Ideology in Legal Theory
257
The First Neoconservative
259
Pragmatic or Utopian?
287
Hegel and Employment at Will
299
Postmodern Medieval Iceland
312
Part Four Of Gender and Race
327
What Are Philosophers Good For?
444
Part Six At the frontier
469
Law and Literature Revisited
471
Rhetoric Legal Advocacy and Legal Reasoning
498
The Legal Protection of the Face We Present to the World
531
Economics and the Social Construction of Homosexuality
552
Credits
581
Index
583
Copyright

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