Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)

Article Title

What's Real for Law?


The following essay is adapted from a paper the author presented this March, at a Lilley Foundation conference at Notre Dame Law School, and a lecture given last October, at a symposium at the Center for Law, Philosophy, and Culture, Catholic University Law School. The October symposium and March conference explored issues and questions raised by University of San Diego Law Professor Steven D. Smith's Law Quandary (Harvard University Press, 2004). The complete lecture, together with lectures responding to the book given by Professor Patrick McKinley Brennan, Justice Antonin Scalia, and Professor Lloyd Weinreb, and a further presentation by Professor Smith, is being published in55 Catholic University Law Review No. 3, 671-685 (Spring 2006).

Law is not academic. The university is not its home. Law is in the wider world and is pervasive there, in language, thought, and action. Everyone is imbued with it. I want to raise here the question whether law might have an ontology of its own.