Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Abstract

The use of narrative in law raises a number of philosophical/jurisprudential issues. Narrative has been used primarily by critical theorists, including critical race theorists, Latino legal theorists, Asian-American legal theorists, feminist legal theorists, and gay/lesbian legal theorists. They offer narrative as a way to introduce a perspective that is not represented in mainstream legal discourse.

Drawing on philosophy, the author explains the importance of narrative for outsiders and offers responses to some important philosophical or jurisprudential objections to the use of narrative in law. In particular, the author responds to the following claims: (1) the use of narrative is an illegitimate externalist approach to law; (2) the use of narrative is misguided because it does not seek to ascertain truth, but instead seeks to change the law; and (3) the use of narrative is hostile to "reason." This philosophical discussion is especially timely and important because although some of the leading critics of narrative have recognized the relevance of philosophy to the debate over the use of narrative in law, they have refused to squarely confront the philosophical issues implicated in the debate.

Publication Title

Rutgers Law Journal

Publication Date

1999

Document Type

Article

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