Fuller, Lon L. (1902–1978)

The most renowned American legal theorist in the middle decades of the twentieth century, Lon Luvois Fuller taught contract law and jurisprudence at Harvard Law School from 1939 to his retirement in 1972. He established his place in American letters in the early 1930s with three articles on legal fictions and several probing criticisms of the excesses of legal realism. His work on “the reliance interest,” the doctrine of consideration, and other aspects of contract law established him as one of the most innovative and influential theorists in the field by mid-century. His 1949 hypothetical “Case of the Speluncean Explorers,” an elegant portrayal of rival judicial philosophies, is a classic of the legal literature. In addition, his published exchanges with the Oxford philosopher H. L. ...

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