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Duncan Kennedy, Legal Reasoning: Collected Essays (The Davies Grp. Pub. 2008).

Abstract: Collected Essays by Duncan Kennedy includes four essays written over a twenty-year span. They present a comprehensive and original account of legal reasoning as done by judges, lawyers, and legal academics. This author has been the first to put together in a systematic way the insights of American legal realism with Continental phenomenology and semiotics. His version of legal reasoning presents it as “work in a medium” deploying a set of “argument-bites” analogous to the words of a language. The result is simultaneous freedom and constraint. Kennedy then turns his approach to the critique of current European legal theory, with an essay on Hart and Kelsen and another on the approach of the European jurists pre-occupied with “coherence” and with the “European social model” in the current process of harmonization of European law. This book is likely to become a definitive introduction to critical legal theory, permitting the reader to compare and contrast it with other extant approaches.