Document Type


Publication Date



A roundtable discussion about the relevance of contemporary hermeneutical philosophy for legal theory raises a foundational question often neglected in interdisciplinary articles: What is the relationship between law and philosophy? The burgeoning scholarship drawing connections between legal theory and philosophy increasingly has come under attack for displaying a naive view about the potential legitimate exchanges between philosophers and legal academics. I have written elsewhere at length about the important insights that philosophical hermeneutics can lend to jurisprudential discussions of the rule of law. In this essay, I develop my argument by stepping back and attending more generally to the connections between the work of contemporary philosophers and the work of legal theorists. In part I, I describe several recent critical rejoinders to efforts by legal scholars to utilize philosophy in legal theory. In part II, I respond to these critiques and argue that attempts to connect contemporary hermeneutical philosophy to legal theory are legitimate and important undertakings. In part III, I contend that contemporary philosophy can benefit from an interdisciplinary exchange with law.

Publication Citation

26 U. Tol. L. Rev. 127 (1994)