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Juris 787-803

Juris 787-803

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 pp. 787-803Keri Premmer Gracie JohnsonDennis M. PattersonLaw¶s Pragmatism: Law as practice and narrative-Language is constitutive as the medium through which understanding occurs-Understanding occurs in and through language, then only the study of language will bring uscloser to truth.Ludwig Wittgenstein ± all philosophical problems turn on language³Follow the rule´ approach- For example the rule of plus75 is the answer to the question ³what is 50 +25´, But how do we know this to be true?A skeptic might say add means up to seventy, then after 70 always add an additional 5.Therefore a skeptic answer to the question would be 80.These are questions surrounding ³the skeptical paradox´ of the rule of following.-Wittgenstein also presents a compelling account of a conventionalist conception of law practice.Patterson¶s theory builds upon this concept.-Patterson theory that following a rule is a practice-In short law is an activity and not a thing. Is being is in the doing of the participants in the practice.-The general philosophical claim is the meaning of a practice is an internal phenomenon. -It iswithin the practice, that the practice has meaning. Without purposeful activity there would be no practice.-Practices are creatures of reason and functions of conventions.One Possible Exception:The fact that words can often be understood apart from context. Literal semantic meaning is afeature of linguistic practice and thus of legal practice as well.Words must be intelligible to question asked.What is law?Law is not merely law because we call it law, nor is it law because it comports with a priori ideaof law.Law is law because it is an activity by which we institutionally organize collective argument.Law is a medium of intelligibility; it is a way of making sense of our collective and individualexperience.What are the implications for legal pragmatism?Vocabulary must be the primary focus of attention.
 
One cannot the false dichotomy of objectivism and relativism yet retain the notion that the waysin which we divide up the world can somehow be compared along a neutral continuum of measurement.Stanley FishLiberalism doesn¶t Exist-Liberalism depends on not inquiring into the status of reason, but depends on the assumptionthat reasons status is obvious.-Once opposition is in place, it produces an opposition between reason and belief.But what if reason rest on belief.-Fish holds that the ideology of reason must repress itself.Where does reason come from?Reason does not come from nowhere. It comes from somewhere and that somewhere is a realmto which they are opposed. The realm of particular assumptions and agendas.- What this means is that not all reasons are for everyone.For example: a lawyer might give a reason for his client acquittal on the fact that his action wasnot intentional. But the fact and the reason becomes perspicuous only because the boundariesthat have been drawn between intentional and unintentional.- What is and is not a reason will always be a matter of faith, of the assumption that are bedrock within a discursive system which because it rest upon them cannot call them into question.ToleranceTolerance is what liberalism claims for itself in contradiction to other, but liberalism is tolerantonly within the space demarcated by the operations of reasonIn this liberalism does not differ does not differ from fundamentalism or from any other systemof though, for any ideology must be founded on some basic conception of what the world is like.A liberalism that did not ³insist on reason as the only legitimate path to knowledge about theworld´ would not be liberalism.
pp. 794-797
Culture and Certainty: Legal History & the Reconstructive Project
By:
Joan C. Williams-
 
Th
is essa
y
examines two modernist approac
h
es to argumentation
:
 
T
raditionalist
and
Pragmatist,
and it advocates t
h
e Pragmatist approac
h
.
 
-
 
Th
e beginning of bot
h
approac
h
es is t
h
e same
:
t
h
e
y
start wit
h
an argument t
h
at, t
h
oug
h
 no absolute trut
h
exists, t
h
is does not preclude t
h
e existence of particular trut
h
.
T
raditionalist:
y
 
A
bandon absolute trut
h
s but seek to preserve read
y
access to certaint
y
.
y
 
A
rgue t
h
at even wit
h
out absolute trut
h
s, our certainties remain quite certain,and our agreements,
within a given culture
, remain relativel
y
objective.
y
 
A
ssumes widespread consensus wit
h
in societ
y
(attracts
h
istorians because iteasil
y
categorizes
h
istor
y)
 
Pragmatist:
y
 
Th
ere is onl
y
certaint
y
wit
h
in t
h
e sense of knowing w
h
at t
h
e moves are wit
h
in aparticular language game, all t
h
e w
h
ile recognizing t
h
at t
h
e governing rules aresubject to endless variation and adjustment.
y
 
A
bandons searc
h
for single viewpoint and searc
h
es for strategies t
h
roug
h
w
h
ic
h
 a population can seek a series of necessaril
y
transient and provisionalunderstandings.
y
 
Particular truths
= a pragmatist looks to
h
istor
y
as a guide for a pluralisticsociet
y
as it negotiates agreements t
h
at remain contested, situated, andeternall
y
unsettled.
o
 
E
xample
:
Do not just look at judge-made law, but also law
h
eld b
y
 perip
h
eral groups.
y
 
Pragmatic certainty
:
certaint
y
in t
h
e absence of eit
h
er consensus or absolutes.W
h
y
does t
h
e aut
h
or t
h
ink Pragmatism will
h
elp t
h
e law?It ma
y
 
h
elp provide an alternative description of rationalit
y
t
h
at frees us from t
h
etraditionalists terror t
h
at we will descend into irrationalism or absolute relativism if weabandon our insistence t
h
at one simpl
y
arrives at true beliefs b
y
obe
y
ing mec
h
anicalprocedures.pp. 797-799
I
dentity Crisis:
T
he Politics of 
I
nterpretation
By:
 
A
llan C. Hutc
h
inson
Th
is essa
y
discusses
Deconstruction
in relation to its interpretive nature wit
h
in t
h
epostmodernist famil
y
.-
 
A
few details about Postmodernism
:
 
y
 
A
flat
rejection of universal knowledge
and denial of essential trut
h
s
y
 
uestions t
h
e idea of autonomous subjectivit
y
and abstract reason; places bot
h
 in a constant contingent condition of provisionalit
y
 

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