Realistic Socio-Legal Theory: Pragmatism and a Social Theory of Law

TitleRealistic Socio-Legal Theory: Pragmatism and a Social Theory of Law
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsTamanaha, BZ
PublisherOxford University Press
Abstract

How might the social sciences best be employed in the study of law, especially in light of today's legal climate of anti-foundationalism? Realistic Socio-Legal Theory addresses this question thoroughly and precisely. Drawing upon philosophical pragmatism to construct an epistemological and methodological foundation, this book formulates a framework for a realistic approach to socio-legal theory. Brian Z. Tamanaha contrasts the strengths of his realistic approach with those of the major schools of socio-legal theory through application to many key issues in the field. He explores the problematic state of socio-legal studies, the relationship between behavior and meaning, the notion of legal ideology, the nature of the concept of law, the problem of indeterminacy in rule following and application, and the structure of judicial decision making. Tamanaha's discussion is always clear and concise as he articulates a social theory of law that draws equally from legal theory and socio-legal studies. His book has much to offer those interested in the gathering and organization of knowledge about law and legal phenomena.