Formalism and Pragmatism in American Law Thomas Grey gives a full account of each of these modes of legal thought, with particular attention to the versions of them promulgated by their influential exponents Christopher Columbus Langdell and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Grey argues that legal pragmatism as understood by Holmes is the best jurisprudential framework for a modern legal system. He enriches his theoretical account with treatments of central issues in three important areas of law in the United States: constitutional interpretation, property, and torts.
Tradition in Social Science is the social philosophy written early in life by the jurisprudent who became the preeminent public law jurist in France in the first quarter of the twentieth century, Maurice Hauriou. His work remains prominent in theorizing European Community as well as in Latin American jurisprudence. His studies concern three areas of research: legal theory, social science, and philosophy. In this book Hauriou first focuses on the object and method of the social sciences in a preliminary chapter. The main text is devoted first to a philosophy of history that uses the growth objectively in fraternity, liberty and equality as the criterion for progress; and next to the subjective elements of progress, namely, the recognition of a “pessimistic individualism” in which failure in conduct is to be expected, but is rectified by social institutions. This part closes with the dynamizing of his philosophy of history by evolution and alternation between two phases of social development, namely, middle ages and renaissances. The second part is the philosophy of social science built around social matter, where the dynamic of imitation is the motive force, and three social networks—positive, religious, and metaphysical—specify its consequences. The last of these, the political fabric, is provided with a final chapter of its own. The main doctrinal device that Hauriou developed for use in law was his theory of the institution; this is developed for the first time in the present work.
This book shows that Hauriou’s positivist and pragmatic jurisprudence and social theory, as well as their application to the study of institutions, is satisfactorily supported by his idealistic philosophy. The nine chapters first locate Hauriou’s influences, then situate his disciplinary methodologies within methodology in general. The central chapters concern each of the three methodologies in turn.
The topic of “evil” means different things depending upon context. For some, it is an archaic term, while others view it as a central problem of ethics, psychology, or politics. Coupled with state power, the problem of evil takes on a special salience for most observers. When governments do evil –in whatever way we define the term – the scale of harm increases, sometimes exponentially. The evils of state violence, then, demand our attention and concern. Yet the linkage of evil with state power does not resolve the underlying question of how to understand the concepts that we invoke when we use the term. Instead, the question becomes what evil means in the context of and in relation to state power.
The fifteen essays in this book bring multiple perspectives to bear on the problems of state-sponsored evil and violence, and on the ways in which law enables or responds to them. The approaches and conclusions articulated by the various contributors sometimes complement and sometimes stand in tension with each other, but as a whole they contribute to our ongoing effort to understand the characteristics and workings of state power, and our need to grapple with the harm it causes.