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Article
The Politics of Postmodern Jurisprudence
Michigan Law Review (1996)
  • Stephen M. Feldman, University of Wyoming
Abstract
Forms of postmodern interpretivism, including philosophical hermeneutics and deconstruction, assert that we are always and already interpreting. This assertion has provoked numerous scholarly attacks, many of which invoke standard modernist hobgoblins such as textual indeterminacy, solipsism, ethical relativism, and nihilism. From the modernist standpoint, postmodern jurisprudence is either conservative or apolitical because it lacks the foundations necessary for knowledge and critique. In this article, I argue that these modernist attacks not only are mistaken but that they also obscure the potentially radical political ramifications of postmodern interpretivism. Postmodern interpretivism does not lead to an infinite regress of interpretations that undermines meaning, but rather, to the contrary, interpretivism explains how meaning and understanding are possible in the first place. Interpretivism explains how we come to understand a text, and simultaneously, how we have an inexhaustible urge for justice.
Keywords
  • postmodern interpretivism,
  • deconstruction,
  • jurisprudence
Disciplines
Publication Date
1996
Citation Information
Stephen M. Feldman. "The Politics of Postmodern Jurisprudence" Michigan Law Review Vol. 95 (1996)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/stephen_m_feldman/25/