Herman Oliphant

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Herman Oliphant (born August 31, 1884 , † January 11, 1939 in Washington, DC ) was an American legal philosopher whose views are included in American legal realism .

Oliphant claimed that the principle of stare decisis was no longer applicable. This approach was only suitable for the relatively simply structured societies of the past, but no longer for the present day. Therefore, Oliphant took a scientific approach.

He said that the way a judge handles a case can be viewed as a stimulus-response model , the judge reacts to the stimulus that the case creates in him.


  • Herman Oliphant: A Return to Stare Decisis . In: American Bar Association Journal 14 (1928).