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Judge Posner's Jurisprudence Of Skepticism, Steven J. Burton Dec 1988

Judge Posner's Jurisprudence Of Skepticism, Steven J. Burton

Michigan Law Review

This essay suggests that there is an instructive incompleteness in Judge Posner's transition from scientific observer to legal actor. His legal skepticism should be understood as a legacy of his days as an inquiring economist, observing and forming beliefs about law and the judicial process from the academy. His affirmation of judicial practices stems from his new respect for practical reason, which seems to result from the experience of performing judicial duties. This essay will argue that a more complete assimilation of the practical perspective of the legal actor would undercut Judge Posner's arguments for legal skepticism.


Practical Legal Studies And Critical Legal Studies, Jay M. Feinman Dec 1988

Practical Legal Studies And Critical Legal Studies, Jay M. Feinman

Michigan Law Review

The basic questions that Practical Legal Studies confronts are how judges decide cases and how judges should decide cases. The traditional analytic response to these questions has been that judges apply formal methods of legal reasoning, and the formal methods sufficiently comport with the courts' role in the political structure to provide legitimacy. That response has been untenable for a generation or more; thus PLS has moved to informal legal reasoning as a description of adjudication and as a source of legitimacy.

Posner presents a two-part response to the questions. First, judges can relatively easily arrive at the correct decision ...


Law, Science, And History: Reflections Upon In The Best Interests Of The Child, Peggy C. Davis May 1988

Law, Science, And History: Reflections Upon In The Best Interests Of The Child, Peggy C. Davis

Michigan Law Review

A Review of In the Best Interests of the Child by Joseph Goldstein, Anna Freud, Albert J. Solnit, and Sonja Goldstein


The Jurisprudence Of Skepticism, Richard A. Posner Apr 1988

The Jurisprudence Of Skepticism, Richard A. Posner

Michigan Law Review

The skeptical vein in American thinking about law runs from Holmes to the legal realists to the critical legal studies movement, while behind Holmes stretches a European skeptical legal tradition that runs from Thrasymachus (in Plato's Republic) to Hobbes and Bentham and beyond. Against the skeptics can be arrayed a vast number of natural lawyers, legal conventionalists, and formalists, including Cicero, Coke, Blackstone, and Langdell, not to mention the majority of contemporary lawyers, judges, and law professors. This article will set forth and defend a moderately skeptical approach to law and judging, one not so far-reaching as that of ...