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The Practice of PrincipleIn Defence of a Pragmatist Approach to Legal Theory$
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Jules Coleman

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199264124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199264124.001.0001

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The Pragmatic Method

The Pragmatic Method

(p.3) Lecture One— The Pragmatic Method
The Practice of Principle


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the basic elements of the pragmatic method. The method can be characterized in terms of five basic characteristics. These are (1) a commitment to semantic non-atomism; (2) the view that the content of the concepts is to be explicated in terms of their inferential role in the practices in which they figure (practical inferential role semantics); (3) the view that sometimes a philosophical explanation of a practice takes the form of showing how certain principles are embodied in it (explanation by embodiment); (4) the view that the way in which a concept figures in one practice influences its proper application in all others, and that, in this sense, practices are to be viewed holistically; and (5) a commitment to the in-principle revisability of all beliefs, categories, of thought, etc.

Keywords:   pragmatism, pragmatic method, legal theory, tort law

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