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Legal Philosophy

William & Mary Law School

2011

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Leiter On The Legal Realists, Michael S. Green Jan 2011

Leiter On The Legal Realists, Michael S. Green

Faculty Publications

In this essay reviewing Brian Leiter’s recent book Naturalizing Jurisprudence, I focus on two positions that distinguish Leiter’s reading of the American legal realists from those offered in the past. The first is his claim that the realists thought the law is only locally indeterminate – primarily in cases that are appealed. The second is his claim that they did not offer a prediction theory of law, but were instead committed to a standard positivist theory. Leiter’s reading is vulnerable, because he fails to discuss in detail those passages from the realists that inspired past interpretations. My goal is to …