Atmospherics: Abortion Law and Philosophy

Anita Allen, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School


In 1934, Karl N. Llewellyn published a lively essay trumpeting the dawn of legal realism, “On Philosophy in American Law.” The charm of his defective little piece is its style and audacity. A philosopher might be seduced into reading Llewellyn's essay by its title; but one soon learns that by philosophy Llewellyn only meant atmosphere. His concerns were the “general approaches” taken by practitioners, who may not even be aware of having general approaches.