Legal Pragmatism

Legal Pragmatism : Community, Rights, and Democracy

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In Legal Pragmatism, Michael Sullivan looks closely at the place of the individual and community in democratic society. After mapping out a brief history of American legal thinking regarding rights, from communitarianism to liberalism, Sullivan gives a rich and nuanced account of how pragmatism worked to resolve conflicts of self-interest and community well-being. Sullivan's view of pragmatism provides a comprehensive framework for understanding democracy, as well as issues such as health care, education, gay marriage, and illegal immigration that will determine its character in the future. Legal Pragmatism is a bold, carefully argued book that presents a unique understanding of contemporary society, law, and politics.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 12.7mm | 294.83g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 025321906X
  • 9780253219060
  • 1,527,372

Review quote

"[This book] represents an genuine breakthrough... [It] will have a large influence on the course of jurisprudential reflection in the decades ahead." -Bruce Ackerman, Yale University "Against the charge... that pragmatism fails to take rights seriously, Sullivan responds that pragmatism provides us with the best account of why we should take rights seriously." -Cheyney Ryan, University of Oregon
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About Michael Sullivan

Michael Sullivan is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Emory University.
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Table of contents


1. What's Right with Rights and Wrong with Communitarianism?
2. Taking Rights and Pragmatism Seriously
3. Posner's Unpragmatic Pragmatism
4. Toward a Reconstructive Pragmatism
5. Reconstructing Judicial Review
6. Pragmatism, Genealogy, and Democracy

Selected Bibliography
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