This work offers an overview of the consequences and implications of the work of the American Legal Realists. First, the article considers Brian Leiter’s naturalist understanding of the realist project and how he uses it as an occasion to argue for a generally naturalist approach to legal philosophy. Second, Frederick Schauer transforms a legal realist-like focus on the concerns of average citizens for legal enforcement to advocate for the view that coercion is central to understanding law. Third, self-styled New Legal Realists try to merge a realist-inspired search for the effects of legal rules with a more traditional respect for the importance of legal doctrine in understanding behavior within and in relation to law. Finally, with the comment, “we are all Legal Realists now”, the article discusses the ways in which the American Legal Realists have – and have not – significantly transformed legal thinking and legal education in the United States.
Brian Bix, The Many Faces of Modern Legal Realism, 2022/2 18 (2022), available at https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/faculty_articles/1041.