"It takes a theory to beat a theory."--Richard Esptein [92 Yale Law Journal 1435 (1983)]
Once a commonplace at faculty workshops everywhere, the old saw that "It takes a theory to beat a theory," seems to be out of favor. Pragmatism, practical reason, and even old fashion ad hocery is all the rage. Has legal theory taken an antitheoretical turn? "Yes," is surely the tempting answer, but before we go there, it is well to remember that there is a distinction between anti-theoreticalism and anti-foundationalism. Pragmatists are anitfoundationalist, but are they really antitheoretical? Of course, there is the easy anti-theory version of the tu quoque: isn't pragmatism itself a theory? And of course it is. As legal theory goes down the antitheoretical path, it might be well to remember that we are treading old ground. Take a look at this website on Anti Theory in Ethics.