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Legal Realism RegainedSaving Realism from Critical Acclaim$
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Wouter de Been

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804756594

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804756594.001.0001

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The Seeds of Time: Legal Realism and Legal History

The Seeds of Time: Legal Realism and Legal History

Chapter:
(p.31) Chapter Two The Seeds of Time: Legal Realism and Legal History
Source:
Legal Realism Regained
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804756594.003.0002

This chapter deals with the realist conception of history, especially in the development of legal doctrine. It begins with a discussion on the historical work of Oliver Wendell Holmes and his conception of legal history. It presents a comparison between Oliver Wendell Holmes and Herbert Spencer, to get a sense of Darwinism in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American social thought. The chapter concludes with actual examples of realist legal history and a brief introduction of contemporary meme theory.

Keywords:   realist, history, legal doctrine, Oliver Wendell Holmes, legal history, Herbert Spencer, Darwinism, meme theory, American social thought

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