The Unity of the Common Law: Studies in Hegelian Jurisprudence

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University of California Press, 1995 - Law - 354 pages
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Countering the influential view of Critical Legal Studies that law is an incoherent mixture of conflicting political ideologies, this book forges a new paradigm for understanding the common law as being unified and systematic. Alan Brudner applies Hegel's legal and moral philosophy to fashion a comprehensive synthesis of the common law of property, contract, tort, and crime.
At a time when there is a strong tendency among scholars to view the common law as essentially fragmentary, inconsistent, and contradictory, Brudner suggests instead a coherence that synthesizes several interrelated dichotomies: good-centered and right-based legal paradigms, instrumental and non-instrumental conceptions of law, externalist and internalist interpretations of the common law system, and communitarian and individualist attempts to found the legal enterprise.
Brudner covers genuinely new ground through an interpretation of the common law from the standpoint of Hegelian legal philosophy. His unifying notion of common law corresponds to Hegel's notion of Geist, suggesting a designation of the mutual dependence of the community and the atomistic self for their confirmation as ends. Countering the influential view of Critical Legal Studies that law is an incoherent mixture of conflicting political ideologies, this book forges a new paradigm for understanding the common law as being unified and systematic. Alan Brudner applies Hegel's legal and moral philosophy to fashion a comprehensive synthesis of the common law of property, contract, tort, and crime.
At a time when there is a strong tendency among scholars to view the common law as essentially fragmentary, inconsistent, and contradictory, Brudner suggests instead a coherence that synthesizes several interrelated dichotomies: good-centered and right-based legal paradigms, instrumental and non-instrumental conceptions of law, externalist and internalist interpretations of the common law system, and communitarian and individualist attempts to found the legal enterprise.
Brudner covers genuinely new ground through an interpretation of the common law from the standpoint of Hegelian legal philosophy. His unifying notion of common law corresponds to Hegel's notion of Geist, suggesting a designation of the mutual dependence of the community and the atomistic self for their confirmation as ends.

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About the author (1995)

Alan Brudner is Associate Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Toronto.

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