American legal realism and empirical social science by John Henry Schlegel

By John Henry Schlegel

John Henry Schlegel recovers a principally missed element of yankee felony Realism, a circulation in criminal idea within the Twenties and Nineteen Thirties that sought to deliver the trendy proposal of empirical technological know-how into the learn and educating of legislation. during this booklet, he explores person Realist students' efforts to problem the got inspiration that the examine of legislation used to be essentially an issue of studying ideas and the way to govern them. He argues that empirical study was once vital to criminal Realism, and he explores why this type of study didn't, ultimately, develop into part of American legislations college curricula. Schlegel studies the paintings of a number of in demand Realists yet concentrates at the writings of Walter Wheeler prepare dinner, Underhill Moore, and Charles E. Clark. He unearths how their curiosity in empirical examine was once a made from their own conditions and demonstrates the effect of John Dewey's rules at the expression of that curiosity. in keeping with Schlegel, competing understandings of the function of empirical inquiry contributed to the sluggish decline of this type of learn by means of professors of law.A UNC Press Enduring version -- UNC Press Enduring variants use the newest in electronic know-how to make to be had back books from our unusual backlist that have been formerly out of print. those versions are released unaltered from the unique, and are provided in reasonable paperback codecs, bringing readers either historic and cultural price.

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Meyer Research Foundation that funded empirical research starting in the late 1950s and at the work of the Russell Sage Foundation that funded law and social science programs at several major law schools during the 1960s. Examination of all three efforts shows some notable successes but, at the same time, a pattern of overall failures like that disclosed in the previous three chapters. Good empirical work can be done in a law school, but it seems incapable of institutionalizing itself in such a way that, when funding shifts Page 11 or is withdrawn altogether, empirical research continues; instead such research dies out and the researchers go on to some other pursuit.

When, in spring 1926, the Harvard Law School announced an endowment drive, in part to provide for research professorships, Columbia responded by accepting Oliphant's entreaties and beginning a mammoth study of the potential for reorganizing the curriculum along functional lines. Leon C. Marshall, Oliphant's Dean when he taught at the College of Commerce and a great advocate of the functionally organized business school curriculum, was brought to Columbia to lead the faculty's seminar on the curriculum that Page 17 continued for eighteen months starting in spring 1927.

Indeed, it is possible that an author exerts more control through narrative than through a more obviously argumentative form. This is because, less constrained by cultural notions of what a rational argument is, the author of a narrative can better fashion the argument being made by trimming here, filling there, and diverting attention by pointing somewhere else. In so saying, I wish to concede a reasonably obvious, but often hidden, when not denied, point of theory. Both the narrative and the explicitly argumentative form of the intrusive analytic historian are arguments, accepted or rejected because of their persuasiveness as to the truth of the matter stated, their verisimilitude as it were.

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