Law and Truth

Dennis Patterson, Law and Truth (Oxford 1996).

“Patterson devotes a chapter to each of six major schools of contemporary jurisprudence: legal formalism, legal realism, legal positivism, and the jurisprudential theories of Ronald Dworkin, Stanley Fish, and Philip Bobbitt. He explains why each is seriously or fatally flawed and, in the concluding chapter, presents his own alternative formulation. In so doing, he takes on seemingly all of the major figures of contemporary legal thought. Yet, his conclusion--a powerful defense of law's integrity as a social and argumentative practice--will be appealing and even comforting to many lawyers. It is a potent rejoinder to the various "law and" movements and . . . is consistent with the emerging long-term direction of the legal academy.”
Michael A. Livingston, Postmodernism Meets Practical Reason (Book Review), 107 Yale L. J. 1125 (1998).

More on this book, from the description by Oxford Unversity Press:
Are propositions of law true or false? If so, what does it mean to say
that propositions of law are true and false? This book takes up these
questions in the context of the wider philosophical debate over realism and
anti-realism. Despite surface differences, Patterson argues that the
leading contemporary jurisprudential theories all embrace a flawed conception of
the nature of truth in law. Instead of locating that in virtue of which
propositions of law are true, Patterson argues that lawyers use forms of
argument to show the truth of propositions of law. Additionally, Patterson
argues that the realism/anti-realism debate in jurisprudence is part of a larger
argument over the role of postmodernism in jurisprudence. For this,
Patterson offers an analytic account of postmodernism and charts its
implications for legal theory. This book will be of interest to those in
legal theory, philosophy, social and political theory, and ethics.

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