Some law students find jurisprudence daunting, impersonal, dry and seemingly detached from practical affairs. William Twining believes that many jurists have been fascinating people struggling with questions that are both historically significant and relevant to contemporary issues. This book brings together previously published essays that centre on three related themes: reading Juristic texts, the role of narrative in law, and relations between theory and practice. Building on a pragmatic view of jurisprudence, the author explores different ways of reading and using Juristic texts, to set them in context, to bring them to life and to engage with the reader’s own concerns. He applies this approach to throw fresh light on four familiar figures - Holmes, Bentham, Hart and Llewellyn. Challenging limited agendas and parochial points of view, Twining outlines a programme for a broad approach to legal theory in the context of globalization. He satirizes some bad habits in jurisprudence and explores in depth how stories can be seductive vehicles for cheating in legal contexts, yet are essential for making sense of disputes about fact or law.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction. Jurist’s Texts: R.G. Collingwood’s autobiography: one reader's response; The bad man revisited; Academic law and legal philosophy: the significance of Herbert Hart; Talk about realism; Karl Llewellyn’s unfinished agenda: law in society and the job of Juristic method; Reading Bentham; Imagining Bentham; Globalization, pluralism and post-modernism: Santos, Haack and Calvino; Reviving general jurisprudence; The great Juristic bazaar. Lawyers Stories: Lawyers stories; Anchored narratives: a comment; Good stories and true stories; Narrative and generalizations in argumentation about questions of fact; The ratio decidendi of the parable of the prodigal son; Index.
William Twining, Research Professor of Law at University College London, UK, having been Quain Professor of Jurisprudence from 1982 to 1986.
’William Twining is a distinctive voice among British jurists. He has a unique grasp of the history of Juristic ideas, that shines through in all his writings.’ Professor Neil McCormick, University of Edinburgh, UK ’In Twining’s vision, the scope of jurisprudence is remarkably broad, and uniquely inviting.Â From parables to the panopticon, from post-modernism to problems of conceptualizaing law in an era of globalization - no issue important for our understanding of the role of law in modern social life escapes his searching gaze.Â These essays offer a leisurely, reflective tour through a rich gallery of jurists and jurisprudential theories, philosophical problems, lawyer's stories, and lessons we can learn from all of them.Â Novice and expert alike will find this book enormously rewarding.’ Gerald J. Postema, Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA ’Professor TwiningÂ isÂ by far the most interesting legal theorist alive. Indeed he is the only global legal theorist alive. His work travels from Tanzania to Britain, from the USA to Colombia and further, for he wantsÂ toÂ drawÂ the map of theÂ brave new world emerging inÂ the frontiers ofÂ theÂ Global North and the GlobalÂ South. The result is pathbreaking:Â indeed, itÂ is Newfoundland all over again. Not only his research is taking legalÂ theory where no one has gone before, he is alsoÂ writing and composing in a unique style. The blending of diary and ethnographic techniques, together with cutting-edgeÂ analysis moving between philosophy, law and the postcolonial politics of globalization in a no-nonsense approach is unprecedented. Behold, the future of legal and political studies has arrived.’ Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, Associate Professor of Jurisprudence & Political Ideas, Universidad Javeriana, Colombia.