Modern American Legal Thought
The course is a survey of the theories of law and adjudication that have been most important in this country since the Civil War, concluding with an introduction to presently significant schools of legal thought. The past schools of thought we treat are Formalist Legal Science, Sociological Jurisprudence, American Legal Realism, and Legal Process. The more recent and still active movements include such as Law and Moral Philosophy, Law and Economics, Critical Legal Studies, Feminist Jurisprudence, Public Choice Theory, and Neo-formalism. The readings are drawn primarily from primary materials - the important contemporary manifestos and critiques of the schools of thought studied, along with writings that involve their application or reveal their influence. Among the recurring issues treated are: How political is law? How objective? How much do and should courts legislate? Is law mostly rules? Principles? Policies? Decisions? How much should law be bound up with other intellectual disciplines? What should legal education be like? Elements used in grading: Final Exam.