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Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  3 reviews

A liberal state is a representative democracy constrained by the rule of law. Richard Posner argues for a conception of the liberal state based on pragmatic theories of government. He views the actions of elected officials as guided by interests rather than by reason and the decisions of judges by discretion rather than by rules. He emphasizes the institutional and materi

Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 31st 2005 by Harvard University Press (first published March 31st 2003)
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Sergei Moska
This is an interesting exposition and defense of Posner's "legal pragmatism", which is

(1)modeled after Schumpeter's democratic theory, and
(2)is taken to be closer to what he calls 'everyday pragmatism' than 'philosophical pragmatism'

Posner attacks two schools of democratic theory - deliberative democracy and social choice theory - and numerous branches of legal theory, most notably legal formalism. I won't try to recreate the argument, and will instead quickly note (for my benefit, to be honest
Posner outlines the radical middle. Worth 4 1/2 stars. Check out the blog he writes with Paul Becker.
Jacqueline Lewis
What I learned from this book: Fuck literalism, fuck the living constitution! Judges make shit up!
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Richard Posner is Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School.

Following his graduation from Harvard Law School, Judge Posner clerked for Justice William J. Brennan Jr. From 1963 to 1965, he was assistant to Commissioner Philip Elman of the Federal Trade Commission. For the next two years he was assistant to the solicitor general of the United States. Prior to going to Stanford
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