My Philosophy of Law

  • Robert S. Summers
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 41)


I have not yet worked out a complete philosophy of law, and the partial philosophy I do have is addressed merely to law in developed western societies, especially in the United States and Great Britain. I am ultimately striving for an overall synthesis that takes due account of the major contributions of the four great branches of legal theory: natural law thought, positivism, instrumentalist theory, and historical jurisprudence. I do not classify the totality of my own work as representative of any one of these branches, though I have published books and articles in which I attempt to contribute to various aspects of the first three2.


Procedural Justice Formal Feature Speed Limit Legal Theory Formal Character 
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Bibliographical Information

I. Books

  1. 1.
    (with D. N. MacCormick) Interpreting Precedents. A Comparative Study, Aldershot, 1997.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Essays on the Nature of Law and Legal Reasoning,Berlin, 1992.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    American Legal Theory,New York, 1992.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    (with P. Atiya) Form and Substance in Anglo-American Law,Oxford, 19912.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    (with D. N. MacCormick), Interpreting Statutes. A Comparative Study. Aldershot, 1991.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    (with K. Clermont) Law: Its Nature, Functions and Limits,St. Paul, 19863.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lon L. Fuller,London, 1984.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pragmatischer Instrumentalismus,Freiburg, 1983.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Instrumentalism and American Legal Theory,Ithaca/London, 1982.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    More Essays in Legal Philosophy,Oxford, 1971 (as editor)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Essays in Legal Philosophy,Oxford, 1968 (as editor).Google Scholar

II. Articles

  1. 1.
    How Law is Formal and Why It Matters?“, 82 Cornell L. Review,101 (1997).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rudolf von Jhering’s Influence on American Legal Theory. A Selective Account“ in Jhering’s Rechtsdenken, O. Behrends (ed.), Göttingen, 1996, 61–76.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    H. L. A. Hart’s The Concept of Law. Estimations, Reflections and a Personal Memorial“, 45 J. Legal Ed., 587 (1995).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The Juristic Study of Law’s Formal Character“, Ratio Juris,1995, 237–247.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    The Formal Character of Law. Criteria of Validity for Contracts“, 9 J. Contract Law, 29 (1995).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    The Formal Character of Law“, Rechtstheorie,1994, 125–162.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Der Formale Charakter des Rechts II“, A.R.S.P.,1994, 66–84.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    A Formal Theory of the Rule of Law“, Ratio Juris,1993, 127–142.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    with G. Marshall) “The Argument from Ordinary Meaning in Statutory Interpretation”, 43 No. Ireland Law Q., 213 (1992).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    The Formal Character of Law“, 51 Cambridge L.J.,242 (1992).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    On Analysing and Characterising the General Style of a Legal System as Formal or as Substantive“, Rechtstheorie,1992, 27–34.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Statues and Contracts as Founts of Formal Reasoning“ in Essays for Patrick Atiya,P. Cane, and S. Stapleton, (eds.), Oxford, 1991, 71–85.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Theory, Formality and Practical Legal Criticism“, 106 Law Quarterly Rev. 407 (1990).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    The Ideal Socio-Legal Order. Its Rule of Law Dimension“, Ratio Juris, 1988, 154–161.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Form and Substance in Legal Reasoning“ in Essays in Honour of Torstein Eckhof,,S. Evju (ed.), 1986, 452–470.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    On Identifying and Reconstructing a General Legal Theory: Some Thoughts Prompted by Professor Moore’s Critique“, 69 Cornell L. Rev., 1014 (1984).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pragmatic Instrumentalism and American Legal Theory. A Summary Statement“, Rechtstheorie, 1982, 257–268.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pragmatic Instrumentalism in the Twentieth Century American Legal Thought. A Synthesis and Critique of Our Dominant Theory about Law and Its Use“, 66 Cornell L. Rev., 861 (1981).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Professor Fuller’s Jurisprudence and America’s Dominant Philosophy of Law“, 92 Harvard L. Rev.,433 (1978).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Two Types of Substantive Reasons. The Core of a Theory of Common Law Justification“, 53 Cornell L. Rev., 707 (1978).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Naive Instrumentalism and the Law“ in Law, Morality and Society. Essays in Honour of H. L. A. Hart,P. Hacker and J. Raz (eds.), Oxford, 1977, 119–131.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Evaluating and Improving Legal Processes. A Plea for Process Values“, 60 Cornell L. Rev., 1, (1974).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    The Technique Element in Law“, 59 Calif. L. Rev.,733 (1971).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    The New Analytical Jurists“, 41 New York U.L.Rev.,861 (1966).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Professor H. L. A. Hart’s Concept of Law“, Duke L.J., 629 (1963).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    H. L. A. Hart on Justice“, 591 of Philosophy,497 (1962).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert S. Summers
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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