Renascent Pragmatism: Studies in Law and Social Science, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Renascent Pragmatism

Studies in Law and Social Science, 1st Edition

Edited by Alfonso Morales


278 pages

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Pragmatism is experiencing a resurgence in law, philosophy and social science, with pragmatists seeking a consistent, comprehensive and productive understanding of social life. In its four sections Renascent Pragmatism aids the reinvigoration of pragmatism as an important intellectual tradition and contributor to inquiry and change in social life. The book is a first of its kind for combining essays on theory, method, public policy and empirical scholarship, presenting contributions from philosophers, legal scholars and social scientists. Throughout the book, the concrete linkage between policy, theory and method is emphasized, while recognizing the philosophical tradition in which the inquiries and prescriptions rest.


'This book is must reading for anyone interested in pragmatism, law or social science.  The book shows how pragmatism continues to be a powerful theoretical tool for the analysis of law and society.' George Martinez, Southern Methodist University, USA 'This collection of fascinating essays demonstrates the vitality and extends the reach of pragmatism in the social sciences. As one of the contributors notes: "Pragmatism is where the action really is.' John Lachs, Vanderbilt University, USA 'This collection of essays makes a powerful and coherent case for a renascent pragmatism as a tool and organizing principle for socio-legal research - and for the talents of a new generation of scholars embracing this tool. The uninitiated reader will learn important insights into the contribution and history of pragmatism, while those more familiar with pragmatism will see its particular utility for cutting-edge socio-legal research - superbly exemplified in this volume.' Bryant Garth, American Bar Foundation, USA 'This marvelously organized and researched set of essays provides readers both new and more familiar with pragmatism as a philosophy and form of politics with insightful commentary and interpretations. This book should help mobilize that renaissance its title announces. A much needed and welcome addition of use to just about every field of social inquiry.' Susan Silbey, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA ’…I found the volume to be a coherent, engaging and thought-provoking…sum of its parts…social scientists interested in the promise of a pragmatic social science will find much here worth serious consideration.’ Law and Politics Book Review

Table of Contents

Contents: Pragmatic Philosophy on Social, Legal, and Scholarly Practice: The 'Democracy of Self-Devotion': Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and pragmatism, William G. Weaver; The dilemma of democracy: diversity of interests and common experiences, Charlene Haddock Seigfried; A pragmatic response to the embarrassing problems of ideology critique in socio-legal studies, Brian Z. Tamanaha; Pragmatic legal norms, Murray J. Leaf. Updating Pragmatist Informed Methods of Inquiry: Ethnography and pragmatism, Murray J. Leaf; The mathematical metaphysics of measurement and metrology: towards meaningful quantification in the human sciences, William P. Fisher Jr. Pragmatists' Perspectives on Policy and Politics: The pragmatic policy analyst, Anne Larason Schneider and Helen Ingram; Does consensus work? A pragmatic approach to public participation in the regulatory process, Cary Coglianese. Empirical Studies from Pragmatist Perspectives: A pragmatist theory of social movement leadership, Alfonso Morales and Robert R. Jimenez, Public interest lawyering and the pragmatist dilemma, Peter Margulies; Index.

About the Editor

Alfonso Morales, Dr, Assistant Professor, Sociology and Anthropology, University of Texas at El Paso, USA

About the Series

Law, Justice and Power

Law, Justice and Power
To speak about law is always and necessarily to be engaged in a discourse about both justice and power. While law's relationship to justice is everywhere contingent and uncertain, law completely divorced from power is unthinkable. And, while law need not be virtuous to be law, if it had no effect in the world it could hardly be said to merit the name law. Recognizing these facts, the series on Law, Justice and Power takes a broad view of legal scholarship.It publishes books by social scientists, humanists and legal academics which connect an understanding of culture's normative ideals with examination of the complex ways that law works in the world, insist that justice is inseparable from social practices and analyze law as one form of power, one way of constituting, controlling and changing the social world. It focuses on state law as well as law in communities and cultural practices and on identities and their articulation in and through law, on law's power in the taken-for-granted world, on its role in the complex construction of nation and national power and on global developments which today destabilize and transform the meaning and significance of law. The series invites innovative scholarship that crosses disciplinary as well as geographic and temporal boundaries.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General