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.
`by any criterion an excellent book ... Tamanaha has produced a work which should feature as a core text in jurisprudence courses.'
Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
`This is the most significant piece of work for anybody in Jurisprudence, Socio-Legal Studies, or Legal Theory.'
`a rich insight into almost every question legal theory has vexed itself with over the past twenty-five years'
Introduction: The State of Socio-Legal Studies
Pragmatism and Realistic Socio-Legal Studies
Behaviourism and Interpretavism in Complement
An Analytical Map of the Concept of Law
A Social Theory of Law by Comparison to Legal Positivism
The Internal-External Distinction and the Notion of a Practice
Studies of Judicial Decision Making
Legal Theory and the Practice of Judging
Three Last Words