Dalhousie Law Journal


Jurisprudence, cynical acid, scientific jurisprudence, psychological bases


... the most important social values in the world are the things that make no sense. Thurman Arnold (1957). Like Jerome Frank, Thurman Arnold gained a large audience for his psychological realism. Indeed, his two best-selling works, The Symbols of Government (1935) and The Folklore of Capitalism (1937), were the subject of prolonged and spirited public debate. Delighting in his special brand of corrosive satire, Thurman Arnold employed the tools of psychology in a superbly witty-albeit merciless--debunking of traditional Jurisprudence. Significantly, Arnold was no mere academic commentator but an extraordinarily enthusiastic participant in public life; in the course of his chequered career he was Mayor of Laramie, Wyoming; Law Professor at Yale; Government Trust-Buster par excellence; Federal Judge; and formidable advocate (often in the service of causes that were anything but popular in the threatening days of rampant McCarthyism). 3 This gradually accumulating wealth of practical experience united with great literary talents and broad intellectual interests render Thurman Arnold one of the more formidable scholars of his generation.

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