Homo Juridicus: On the Anthropological Function of the Law

Homo Juridicus: On the Anthropological Function of the Law 286 Review Articles / Historical Materialism 17 (2009) 237–299 Homo Juridicus: On the Anthropological Function of the Law , Alain Supiot, London: Verso, 2007 Abstract In Homo Juridicus , Alain Supiot argues that law has an ‘anthropological’ function – constituting people as rational beings by linking together their biological and symbolic dimensions. Th e law also serves a ‘dogmatic function’, embodying Western values and serving as a bar to totalitarian scientism and tempering the excesses of technology in the workplace. However, the anthropological function of the law has been undermined by the advance of science and economics and widespread privatisation, contractualisation and deregulation. Th is article contests Supiot’s claims, especially as regards Marxism, counterposing his position to that of Bolshevik legal theorist Evgeny Pashukanis. Pashukanis’s insights into the relationship between law and capitalism are used to re-frame Supiot’s argument and to undermine his contention that globalisation is inimical to law. Pashukanis is also invoked to contest the claims that the anthropological function of the law is the only alternative to totalitarianism and that law serves to ‘humanise’ technology. Keywords Law, Pashukanis, jurisprudence, Alain Supiot Homo Juridicus is not an easy work to pin down, although primarily a work http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Historical Materialism Brill

Homo Juridicus: On the Anthropological Function of the Law

Historical Materialism, Volume 17 (2): 286 – Jan 1, 2009

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2009 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1465-4466
eISSN
1569-206X
D.O.I.
10.1163/156920609X436234
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

286 Review Articles / Historical Materialism 17 (2009) 237–299 Homo Juridicus: On the Anthropological Function of the Law , Alain Supiot, London: Verso, 2007 Abstract In Homo Juridicus , Alain Supiot argues that law has an ‘anthropological’ function – constituting people as rational beings by linking together their biological and symbolic dimensions. Th e law also serves a ‘dogmatic function’, embodying Western values and serving as a bar to totalitarian scientism and tempering the excesses of technology in the workplace. However, the anthropological function of the law has been undermined by the advance of science and economics and widespread privatisation, contractualisation and deregulation. Th is article contests Supiot’s claims, especially as regards Marxism, counterposing his position to that of Bolshevik legal theorist Evgeny Pashukanis. Pashukanis’s insights into the relationship between law and capitalism are used to re-frame Supiot’s argument and to undermine his contention that globalisation is inimical to law. Pashukanis is also invoked to contest the claims that the anthropological function of the law is the only alternative to totalitarianism and that law serves to ‘humanise’ technology. Keywords Law, Pashukanis, jurisprudence, Alain Supiot Homo Juridicus is not an easy work to pin down, although primarily a work

Journal

Historical MaterialismBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2009

Keywords: PASHUKANIS; ALAIN SUPIOT; LAW; JURISPRUDENCE

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