Legalism: Rules and Categories

Hardcover | December 12, 2015

EditorPaul Dresch, Judith Scheele

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Mainstream historians in recent decades have often treated formal categories and rules as something to be "used" by individuals, as one might use a stick or stone, and the gains of an earlier legal history are often needlessly set aside. Anthropologists, meanwhile, have treated rules asanalytic errors and categories as an imposition by outside powers or by analysts, leaving a very thin notion of "practice" as the stuff of social life. Philosophy of an older vintage, as well as the work of scholars such as Charles Taylor, provides fresh approaches when applied imaginatively tocases beyond the traditional ground of modern Europe and North America. Not only are different kinds of rules and categories open to examination, but the very notion of a rule can be explored more deeply. This volume approaches rules and categories as constitutive of action and hence of social life, but also as providing means of criticism and imagination. A general theoretical framework is derived from analytical philosophy, from Wittgenstein to his critics and beyond, and from recent legal thinkerssuch as Schauer and Waldron. Case-studies are presented from a broad range of periods and regions, from Amazonia via northern Chad, Tibet, and medieval Russia to the scholarly worlds of Roman law, Islam, and Classical India. As the third volume in the Legalism series, this collection draws on commonthemes that run throughout the first two volumes: Legalism: Anthropology and History and Legalism: Community and Justice, consolidating them in a framework that suggests a new approach to rule-bound systems.

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Mainstream historians in recent decades have often treated formal categories and rules as something to be "used" by individuals, as one might use a stick or stone, and the gains of an earlier legal history are often needlessly set aside. Anthropologists, meanwhile, have treated rules asanalytic errors and categories as an imposition by...

Paul Dresch is an emeritus Fellow of St John's College, Oxford. His publications include Tribes, Government, and History in Yemen (1989), A History of Modern Yemen (2000), and The Rules of Barat (2006). He has co-edited volumes (with Pierre Bonte and Edouard Conte) on Islamic politics and kinship and (with James Piscatori) on the Arab...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:340 pagesPublished:December 12, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198753810

ISBN - 13:9780198753810

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Table of Contents

Paul Dresch and Judith Scheele: Introduction: Rules and Categories: An Overview1. Don Davis: Rules, Culture, and Imagination in Sanskrit Jurisprudence2. Paul Dresch: Written Law as Words to Live By3. Caroline Humfress: Telling Stories About (Roman) Law: Rules and Concepts in Legal Discourse4. Fernanda Pirie: Rules, Proverbs, and Persuasion: Legalism and Rhetoric in Tibet5. Alice Rio: 'Half-Free' Categories in the Early Middle Ages: Fine Status-Distinctions Before Professional Lawyers6. Judith Scheele: In Praise of Disorder: Breaking the Rules in Northern Chad7. Simon Franklin: A Polyphony of Legal Forms: The Case of Early Rus8. Elizabeth Ewart: Categories and Consequences in Amazonia9. Morgan Clarke: Legalism and the Care of the Self: Shari'ah Discourse in Contemporary Lebanon