Law’s Images of Society

Roger Cotterrell

in Law's Community

Published in print February 1997 | ISBN: 9780198264903
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682858 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Socio-Legal Studies

Law’s Images of Society

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Legal philosophy has helped to provide lawyers with images of the society they are supposed to serve and of their place in it. Law students, whether or not they formally study legal theory or legal philosophy, absorb in one way or another, and at many levels of legal discussion and analysis, much of these images of the profession, its role, and its environment. Legal philosophy often does no more than rationalise, at the highest levels of generality, currents of thought that pervade the professional environment of law. Lawyers think in terms of legal philosophy in some sense whether they know it or not. This chapter tries to support arguments about a dichotomy between two legal views of law's social environment and about the significance of this dichotomy by using illustrations of judicial rhetoric drawn from recent case law in England and the United States.

Keywords: legal philosophy; images; society; case law; lawyers; social environment; judicial rhetoric; England; United States

Chapter.  11097 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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