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Law and Truth 1st Edition

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195083231
ISBN-10: 0195083237
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Law & Truth is one of the most significant books on jurisprudence to be published in recent years."--Notre Dame Law Review


"Patterson's project succeeds."--Columbia Law Review


"An invaluable addition to the literature on philosophical realism, language philosophy, and legal philosophy."--Choice


"An excellent compendium of contemporary views on the epistemological soundness of contemporary theory of jurisprudence....[Includes] two superlative [chapters] on the jurisprudential notions of Ronald Dworkin and Stanley Fish. This thorough ventilation of the claims and pretentions of these two eminent jurists brings readers... to the forefront of controversy in the philosophy of law and related philosophical disciplines.... The concluding chapters...offer Patterson's own claim that truth is best seen as a linguistic practice among competently trained communicators.... An invaluable addition to the literature on philosophical realism, language philosophy and legal philosophy."--Choice


"Patterson's book is an important piece of work on a topic fundamental to legal theory and currently of great interest in scholarly circles. Professor Patterson addresses large and difficult issues of metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of language, which many believe to lie at the foundations of law and legal reasoning."--Gerald J. Postema, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


About the Author

Dennis Patterson is at Rutgers University.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (April 25, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195083237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195083231
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,937,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on November 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Many of my favorite books in philosophy follow a common pattern: the author will pose a problem or question, canvass its historically and/or presently available resolutions, say straightforwardly what he believes to be lacking in each, and offer a resolution of his own (or the beginning of one) that avoids the difficulties he has identified in the others.
I will not say that _all_ philosophy books should be written to this plan. But the ones that are tend to fulfill a dual purpose: they provide a useful and nontrivial introduction/overview for a newcomer to the topic in question, and they genuinely advance the discussion among professionals who have long dealt with it. This isn't easy to pull off, and authors who manage to do it command my respect quite apart from whether I agree with their conclusions.
Prof. Dennis Patterson of Rutgers University School of Law is such an author, and _Law and Truth_ is such a book. And the topic with which it deals is one that is, or should be, central to the philosophy of law: "What does it mean," as Patterson himself puts it, "to say that a proposition of law is _true_?"
Patterson sorts helpfully through the array of proposed answers to this question in contemporary juridprudence. In particular, he deals in turn with Ernest Weinrib's account of the immanent rationality of law; the moral realism of Michael Moore and David O. Brink; the legal positivism of H.L.A. Hart; the interpretation-based approaches of Ronald Dworkin and Stanley Fish; and the "modal" account of Philip Bobbitt. In each case he deftly, clearly, and fairly summarizes the account in question and proceeds to raise his own objections. (All his discussions are well executed, but I especially enjoyed his brilliant and occasionally wry reply to Fish.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By weissliv on March 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a fine introduction to the problems of contemporary legal theory organized around a simple question: what makes a proposition of law true? Although a tad cantankerous at times, Patterson provides a thorough overview of contemporary approaches to law (realism, interpretivism, etc.) and their limitations before introducting his own theory of law as a linguistic/argumentative practice and applying it to selected legal problems. The book is thus a good choice for those seeking a one-stop introduction to contemporary legal theory as well as those interested in the philosophic debate regarding the nature of truth, etc. It will also make you sound a lot better at (sophisticated) cocktail parties.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hande Z on December 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The question that is the focal point of this book is: "What do we mean when we say that a proposition of law is true?" The simplicity of its form belies a mass of difficult issues that require time and space to set out, At the risk of oversimplification, it can be understood by reference to the question of what relationship there is between truth, justice, and law. Even to philosophers and lawyers that issue resounds with extravangant and often nebulous connotations, yielding contradictive and vague meanings. The connundrum in the question (and its sub and related forms) may seem less formidable, and begin to make sense when we examine a more specific question - are there truths or only Truth in law? This question has, in turn, been repackaged by philosophers as the questions of realism or anti-realism, and objectivity or subjectivity (which is an important but different question from realism or anti-realism). We should gain more from our attempts to understand law, justice, and truth and their relationship with each other once we resolve the realism/anti-realism; objectivity-subjectivity questions. That is, whether there is only one truth or many truths; and whether there is one (objective) way of finding the truth or many (subjective) ways of reaching it. Patterson's book is a clear, organised, and learned discourse that explains the problems and how some of the best minds (Hart, Dworkin, Fish, and Weinrib) dealt with them. Finally, he tells us what he thinks the answer is. You may agree with him or you might prefer the others, or you might even have your own propositions. Whichever the case, this book is an excellent starting point.
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