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American Legal Thought from Premodernism to Postmodernism : An Intellectual Voyage - Stephen M. Feldman

American Legal Thought from Premodernism to Postmodernism

An Intellectual Voyage

Paperback Published: 1st August 2000
ISBN: 9780195109672
Number Of Pages: 288

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In a little over two hundred years, American legal thought moved from premodernism through modernism and into postmodernism. This book charts that intellectual voyage, stressing both the historical contexts in which ideas unfolded and the inherent force of the ideas themselves.Author Stephen M. Feldman first defines "premodernism," "modernism," and "postmodernism," then explains the development of American legal thought through these three intellectual periods. His narrative revolves around two broad, interrelated themes: jurisprudential foundations and the notion of progress. He points out that much of American legal thought has grappled with the problem of identifying the foundations of the American judicial system and judicial decision making. The various ideas of jurisprudential foundations, moreover, are closely tied to shifting notions of progress-the definition of the term, assumptions about the possibility of progress, and hopes about how law might contribute to it.This book's broad historical sweep and its clear explanations of the competing theoretical positions of current legal scholarship make it indispensable to students and scholars of jurisprudence and American legal history.

"This is an absorbing tour through two centuries of American legal thought. It is especially illuminating on postmodernism and the new, critical legal movements."-Richard Delgado, University of Colorado School of Law "Feldman has written an intellectual history that is both provocative and learned. It is a much-needed contribution to our understanding of American legal theory and how it relates to more general intellectual and cultural trends."-James Hackney, Northeastern University School of Law "An engaging, erudite, occasionally truculent tour of American legal thought."-Steven D. Smith, University of Notre Dame Law School "It is clearly written, easy to follow, and covers a great deal of ground."--The Law and Politics Book Review "[Feldman's book] is a tour de force establishing him as an important scholar of jurisprudence. Defying the postmodern mandate against the writing of grand narratives, or meta-histories, Professor Feldman's book is a sweeping confluence of history, politics, economics, sociology and literature...The origins and principles of every school of jurisprudence are examined and explained within the historical context of each...Feldman's book is a major contributor to the solution of one of postmodernism's severest criticisms, namely that it cannot be defined. After reading this book, make no mistake, one knows what postmodernism is and what postmodern jurisprudence is all about."--Tulsa Law Journal

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction: On Intellectual Historyp. 3
Charting Intellectual Waters: Premodernism, Modernism, and Postmodernismp. 11
Premodern American Legal Thoughtp. 49
Modern American Legal Thoughtp. 83
Postmodern American Legal Thoughtp. 137
Conclusion: A Glimpse of the Future?p. 188
Notesp. 199
Indexp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195109672
ISBN-10: 0195109678
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 1st August 2000
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6  x 2.08
Weight (kg): 0.41