Saturday, September 03, 2005

On Postmodernism and the "Impulse to Be Scientific"

While reading Prof. Leiter's very useful review on Neil Duxbury's Patterns of American Jurisprudence, I came across this rather amusing paragraph:

=start of quote=

It is well-known that the Realists, like Langdell, wanted to develop a science of law; their dispute with Langdell was over what that meant. This should not be surprising to anyone: roughly the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century marked the heyday of philosophical "positivism," by which I mean the view that natural science is the paradigm of all genuine knowledge. For any discipline to constitute "knowledge," on the positivist view, it must emulate natural science. Langdell was inspired by this model ... as were the Legal Realists. The 1920's, let us remember, was manifestly not the age of postmodernism and deconstruction! That the Realists should not have shared the impulse to be "scientific" would have been the real surprise.

=end of quote=

- Is There an "American" Jurisprudence? (page 17, footnotes omitted)

Well, touche! Fxs

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