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A Post-Analytical Approach to Philosophy and Theory of Law

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Edited By Andrzej Bator, Zbigniew Pulka and Jan Burzyński

Post-analytical philosophy of law departs from the traditional view which considers philosophical cognition merely as a sense-making and optimizing activity. It also questions the apparently universal and objective character of the theorems put forward by existing analytical philosophy. Just like every scientific trend whose name is supplemented with the "post" prefix, it does not break with its past, but rather seeks to critically revisit its established achievements. The main goal of post-analytical philosophy is no longer to impose a conceptual structure upon chaos in the realm of legal and political phenomena. Rather, it seeks to deconstruct the analytical, both philosophical and legal, narrative to expose it as a collection of schemes which oversimplify – if not mystify – the legal and political reality. This kind of diagnosis paves the way towards the construction of a positive program of post-analytical philosophy of law, which the focus of this book.

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Towards Post-Analytical Theory of Law. On the Consequences of Richard Rorty’s Metaphilosophy

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1  Introduction1

The goal of this article is to attempt to relate to a general reflection on law of the manner of perceiving philosophy as recommended by Richard Rorty. It attempts to answer the question of what model of philosophy of law can be proposed on the basis of the metaphilosophical position of the author of Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, the most influential American thinker of the second half of the 20th century and the first decade of the current century. As Rorty rarely spoke on the subject of philosophy of law, this endeavor will be based not only on fishing for explicitly stated viewpoints on the matter under scrutiny but also on deriving consequences from the “general” metaphilosophy of the American thinker.2

As one of the leading representatives of neopragmatism, Rorty is sometimes also called a “postmodernist,” “soft postmodernist,” “neopragmatically-oriented ally of postmodermism,”3 and “postanalytical thinker.”4 Even though there are ←103 | 104→good reasons to call Rorty each of these names, this chapter will portray him in a still slightly different theoretical context, as a thinker who belongs to a broadly understood hermeneutic tradition. While I am not fond of too much devotion to assigning individual authors their specific places on the map of philosophy, I still think that such declarations and decisions may be to some degree useful, since they give clues as to the way of reading texts. Although Rorty’s connections with the hermeneutic tradition could be a topic...

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