Legal Pragmatism


  • Richard A. Posner


Abstract: This essay describes modern American legal pragmatism. Its origins in pragmatist philosophy are traced, and it is compared with the law and economics movement in American law and the formalist style of Continental legal theory. The essay argues that the inevitability of legal pragmatism in America, and its dispensability in Europe, reflect fundamental institutional and cultural differences rather than mere accidents of history or legal thought.