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Patterns of American Jurisprudence$
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Neil Duxbury

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198264910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198264910.001.0001

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Introduction: Jurisprudence as Intellectual History

Introduction: Jurisprudence as Intellectual History

(p.1) Introduction: Jurisprudence as Intellectual History
Patterns of American Jurisprudence

Neil Duxbury

Oxford University Press

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

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