1. I find it curious legal realism had the main spot in this debate myself. That wasn’t my doing, it was PEG’s. (He’s the one who kicked it off with a blog post titled something like ‘Legal Realism is Wrong.’) I do notably use legal realism in the sense of Robert Hale, not in the sense of CLS (critical legal studies) which appears to be the sense in which you are using it. It is admittedly an underdefined term — I’ be happy to use another one to make the same point. And the point is, as you indicate, extremely clear and extremely simple and extremely straightforward. I find myself in the position of wondering why I have to argue it as well — it’s certainly not the centerpiece of my proprietary theory, which is why I tried tacking another indicator on to point toward what the metaphysical grounding of all that is, e.g. ‘Christian legal realism.’ I agree that it isn’t itself an ethic, or it isn’t in the context in which I use it; PEG appears to have taken special exception because it is a notorious problem for libertarians of his stripe. This is all to say that by and large I’m not at odds with you here — I tend to agree that anti-liberal Catholics of the left/right persuasion had better hang together.

    1. modestinus
      July 30, 2014

      Fair enough. Perhaps I missed something in the thread with respect to “legal realism” and who dropped it in there first.

      Though I didn’t address it in the post, it’s hard not to read “Christian legal realism” and not think of the Christian realism of Reinhold Niebuhr, but I am not sure if that’s what you’re actually going for.

      1. Definitely not that! I think it was Hauerwas who best made the point that Niebuhr’s Christian realism was heavy, heavy, heavy on the liberalism and thin, thin, thin on the Christianity. (I wrote my MPhil dissertation on Niebuhr’s misuse of Augustine toward that end.) I wish there were a clearer term here — will work on developing that, because it is a good point.

  2. […] that he held property rights to be the product of human law, rather than nature; though there are other meanings of the term), to which Mr. Gobry replied, more or less: (a) So what?  The rest of the tradition is not legal […]


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