Introduction: Jurisprudence as Intellectual History

Neil Duxbury

in Patterns of American Jurisprudence

Published in print July 1997 | ISBN: 9780198264910
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682865 | DOI:
Introduction: Jurisprudence as Intellectual History

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The word jurisprudence is shorthand for a multitude of ideas, and there can be no universal consensus concerning what makes an idea ‘jurisprudential’. The term, ‘American jurisprudence’ is hardly less ambiguous. This book demonstrates that the use of concepts and themes affects the way in which the history of legal ideas is represented. The ‘pendulum swing’ vision of American jurisprudential history is believed to dominate the American jurisprudential discourse. Its dominance appears to be due to the manner in which many of those engaged in American jurisprudence have conceptualized their subject matter. This book challenges this vision. When the history of ideas about law is considered, it is likely to appreciate not only how certain ideas come to be discredited, but also, equally importantly, why they were ever considered to be significant in the first place.

Keywords: American jurisprudence; intellectual history; law; jurisprudential history

Chapter.  3007 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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