Hanoch Dagan, ‘Defending Legal Realism: A Response to Four Critics’

My recently published book, Reconstructing American Legal Realism & Rethinking Private Law Theory (Oxford University Press, 2013), seeks to revive our understanding of law as a set of institutions accommodating three sets of constitutive tensions: power and reason, science and craft, and tradition and progress. This Issue of Critical Analysis of Law honored me with the publication of thoughtful and generous book reviews by Alan Brudner, Dan Farbman, Joseph Singer, and Laura Underkuffler. This short Essay reflects upon their insightful and important observations and attempts to provide some answers to their interesting and intriguing critiques of my account. I begin with some observations on the relationships between law and politics and on the nature of legislation. I then turn to address the interplay between idealism and reality in law and legalese as well as the ways in which legal theory can be distinctive and at the same time both critical and synthetic. I conclude with some comments on the nature of private law and on the way it serves our right of self-authorship.

Dagan, Hanoch, Defending Legal Realism: A Response to Four Critics (October 5, 2014). 2 Critical Analysis of Law (2014), forthcoming.

First posted 2014-10-06 20:07:41

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