Throughout the twentieth century, prominent legal thinkers confidently predicted that law as it has been practiced in the West for centuries was archaic and doomed to imminent extinction. Why did they think this, and why were they wrong? And why was "legal indeterminacy" such a source of anxiety to twentieth-century legal thinkers? This essay, given as a lecture at Notre Dame, suggests that the recurring predictions of law's demise and the pervasive angst about indeterminacy were manifestations of debilitating limitations in the philosophical framework within which twentieth-century thinkers understood law (and much else).
Steven D. Smith,
The (Always) Imminent Death of the Law,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol44/iss1/3