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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores some of the ways that legal historical research has been conditioned by the concept of culture. It argues for the importance of understanding key terms of analysis in light of their intellectual history. No matter how we draw the distinction between law and culture, legal historical research becomes skewed when we presume that we are able to distinguish law from culture without attending to the intellectual and institutional history that made law and culture understandable as opposed entities separated into distinct domains. Legal historians must proceed inductively, but they also need to expand their analysis dialectically through a genealogy that conceives law and culture not as natural kinds but as inherited ideas.

Keywords: legal history, historical research, culture, intellectual history, law

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