We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Professor Thom Brooks

Brooks, Thom (2006). Let a Thousand Nomoi Bloom? Four Problems with Robert Cover's 'Nomos and Narrative'. Issues in Legal Scholarship 6(1).

Author(s) from Durham


Robert Cover's well known article Nomos and Narrative is a passionately argued defense of a new way of applying narrative to the philosophy and understanding of law. In my article, I argue that there are four major problems which lie at the heart of Cover's analysis. Each problem addresses a major area of his overall view of law. I try to demonstrate that in each case, if the problem is real, Cover's view of law should be rejected. The primary difficulty is analytical and argumentative sloppiness in Cover's arguments. My conclusion is simple: Cover's view of law is both underdeveloped and theoretically unsafe. It falls victim to each of the four problems I identify. As a result, his philosophy of law should be rejected tout court.