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3 Rsch. L. &. Soc'y 25 (1980)
Reification in Legal Reasoning

handle is hein.journals/slps3 and id is 43 raw text is: REIFICATION IN LEGAL
Peter Gabel
Legal reasoning is an inherently repressive form of interpretive thought
which limits our comprehension of the social world and its possibilities.
This interpretive thought emerges within consciousness at moments of
uncertainty about the legitimacy of the concrete world within which we
find ourselves, and its function is to institutionalize-with the help of such
overpowering psychological symbols as robed judges, quasi-ecclesiastical
schools, the Profession, and the Tribunal-the boundaries of a legitimate
rationality. It is therefore incorrect to say, as does the instrumentalist,
that legal rules and principles directly serve the interests of the dominant
class by bringing about certain consequences in the socioeconomic order.
Legal outcomes have only the most marginal effect on the movement of
socioeconomic processes and social actors who have been conditioned to
accept the apparent necessity of these processes do not require anything
so abstract as legal rules to shape and direct their daily conduct. It is
closer to the truth to say that it is action which has an instrumental
Research in Law and Sociology, Volume 3, pages 25-51.
Copyright © 1980 by JAI Press Inc.
All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.
ISBN: 0-89232-186-5


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