Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

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| Editors: Mortimer Sellers, Stephan Kirste

American Legal Realism – Theoretical Aspects

  • Frederick SchauerEmail author
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6730-0_67-3

Introduction: Realisms

This entry offers an overview and analysis of American Legal Realism, the school of thought associated with a group of theorists, primarily American, whose most important contributions came in the 1930s. Jerome Frank (1930) and Karl Llewellyn (2011; Twining 2014) are probably the most well-known of the Realists, but the ranks of Realism also include Thurman Arnold, William O. Douglas, Leon Green, Joseph Hutcheson, Underhill Moore, Herman Oliphant, and Hessel Yntema, among others (Llewellyn 1931). Moreover, although American Legal Realism is situated historically with this group of thinkers, its basic claims have both contemporary adherents and continuing relevance.

At the outset, it is important to distinguish American Legal Realism from the various other perspectives and schools of thought that have also described themselves as “Realist.” Most significantly, American Legal Realism differs from various manifestations of philosophical Realism; indeed, Legal...

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of VirginiaCharlottsvilleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Patricia Mindus
    • 1
  • Sebastian Andres Reyes Molina
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden