Living Speech

Author: James Boyd White
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400827534
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Language is our key to imagining the world, others, and ourselves. Yet sometimes our ways of talking dehumanize others and trivialize human experience. In war other people are imagined as enemies to be killed. The language of race objectifies those it touches, and propaganda disables democracy. Advertising reduces us to consumers, and clichés destroy the life of the imagination. How are we to assert our humanity and that of others against the forces in the culture and in our own minds that would deny it? What kind of speech should the First Amendment protect? How should judges and justices themselves speak? These questions animate James Boyd White's Living Speech, a profound examination of the ethics of human expression--in the law and in the rest of life. Drawing on examples from an unusual range of sources--judicial opinions, children's essays, literature, politics, and the speech-out-of-silence of Quaker worship--White offers a fascinating analysis of the force of our languages. Reminding us that every moment of speech is an occasion for gaining control of what we say and who we are, he shows us that we must practice the art of resisting the forces of inhumanity built into our habits of speech and thought if we are to become more capable of love and justice--in both law and life.

Heracles Bow

Author: James Boyd White
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
ISBN: 9780299104146
Format: PDF, ePub
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The law has traditionally been regarded as a set of rules and institutions. In this thoughtful series of essays, James Boyd White urges a fresh view of the law as an essentially literary, rhetorical, and ethical activity. Defining and elaborating his conception, he artfully bridges the fields of jurisprudence, literature, philosophy, history, and political science. The result, a new approach that may change the way we perceive the legal process, will engage not only lawyers and law students but anyone interested in the relationship between ethics, persuasion, and community. White's essays, though bound by a common perspective, are thematically varied. Each of these pieces makes eloquent and insightful reading. Taken as a whole, they establish, by triangulation, a position from which they all proceed: a view of poetry, law, and rhetoric as essentially synonymous. Only when we perceive the links between these processes, White stresses, can we begin to unite the concerns of truth, beauty, and justice in a single field of action and expression.

When Words Lose Their Meaning

Author: James Boyd White
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022605604X
Format: PDF, ePub
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Through fresh readings of texts ranging from Homer's Iliad, Swift's Tale of a Tub, and Austen's Emma through the United States Constitution and McCulloch v. Maryland, James Boyd White examines the relationship between an individual mind and its language and culture as well as the "textual community" established between writer and audience. These striking textual analyses develop a rhetoric—a "way of reading" that can be brought to any text but that, in broader terms, becomes a way of learning that can shape the reader's life. "In this ambitious and demanding work of literary criticism, James Boyd White seeks to communicate 'a sense of reading in a new and different way.' . . . [White's] marriage of lawyerly acumen and classically trained literary sensibility—equally evident in his earlier work, The Legal Imagination—gives the best parts of When Words Lose Their Meaning a gravity and moral earnestness rare in the pages of contemporary literary criticism."—Roger Kimball, American Scholar "James Boyd White makes a state-of-the-art attempt to enrich legal theory with the insights of modern literary theory. Of its kind, it is a singular and standout achievement. . . . [White's] selections span the whole range of legal, literary, and political offerings, and his writing evidences a sustained and intimate experience with these texts. Writing with natural elegance, White manages to be insightful and inciteful. Throughout, his timely book is energized by an urgent love of literature and law and their liberating potential. His passion and sincerity are palpable."—Allan C. Hutchinson, Yale Law Journal "Undeniably a unique and significant work. . . . When Words Lose Their Meaning is a rewarding book by a distinguished legal scholar. It is a showcase for the most interesting sort of inter-disciplinary work: the kind that brings together from traditionally separate fields not so much information as ideas and approaches."—R. B. Kershner, Jr., Georgia Review

Transformative Communication Studies

Author: Omar Swartz
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 1906221901
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This interdisciplinary collection of essays charts intersections between communication/cultural studies and a variety of emergent emancipatory and liberatory discourses. Every essay attempts, in one way or another, to speak to the following questions: What would a theory of liberation look like that is premised on a communication view of the world? How would such a view expand and even redefine our understanding of liberation? Finally, how would such a view enlarge our understanding of what is collectively, communally, and organizationally possible? In other words, the chapters articulate what can be loosely considered a humanist theory of communication and praxis. The goal is to move beyond discourses of liberation that are grounded in essentionalist assumptions and to move the conversation toward an engaged criticism on cultural and social levels that facilitates and encourages progressive action.This edited collection, thus, has as its goal a theory of human liberation grounded in communication as a resource for social and spiritual transformation. The chapters comprise a mix of conceptual and applied studies that interrogate the communicative practices that naturalize our hierarchical world, reifying and stultifying our moral and political imaginations. As an antidote to this problem, the contributors consider the importance of uncertainly and contingency in the development of human potential.Rather than fearing uncertainty and contingency and allowing that fear to control us, contributors argue that we should find within these conditions the source of our humanity and the strength to question and resist unjust social reifications. When we do this, we will rediscover the power of communication and regain an agency and control over our lives. We then can start the difficult but humanizing process of constructing the world anew. Case study exemplars of this construction, thus, are showcased.

Neo pragmatism Communication and the Culture of Creative Democracy

Author: Omar Swartz
Publisher: Peter Lang
ISBN: 9781433107313
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In exploring how John Dewey’s notion of a «creative democracy» can be cultivated and advanced through a heightened awareness of the ways in which communication shapes individuals and society, this book helps scholars, activists, and citizens to rethink commonly accepted notions of community in order to imagine new possibilities for social, political, and economic organization – in short, new ways of imagining solidarity and citizenship with others, especially those who languish outside the range of our moral radar.

Law and Language

Author: Harold J. Berman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110703342X
Format: PDF, ePub
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Berman's long-lost tract shows how properly negotiated, translated and formalised legal language is essential to fostering peace and common understanding.

Equity Stirring

Author: Gary Watt
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1847315240
Format: PDF
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Sir Frederick Pollock wrote that 'English-speaking lawyers ...have specialised the name of Equity'. It is typical for legal textbooks on the law of equity to acknowledge the diverse ways in which the word 'equity' is used and then to focus on the legal sense of the word to the exclusion of all others. There may be a professional responsibility on textbook writers to do just that. If so, there is a counterpart responsibility to read the law imaginatively and to read what non-lawyers have said of equity with an open mind. This book is an exploration of the meaning of equity as artists and thinkers have portrayed it within the law and without. Watt finds in law and literature an equity that is necessary to good life and good law but which does not require us to subscribe to a moral or 'natural law' ideal. It is an equity that takes a principled and practical stand against rigid formalism and unthinking routine in law and life, and so provides timely resistance to current forces of extremism and entitlement culture. The project is an educational one in the true etymological sense of leading the reader out into new territory. The book will provide the legal scholar with deep insight into the rhetorical, literary and historical foundations of the idea of equity in law, and it will provide the law student with a cultural history of, and an imaginative introduction to, the technical law of equity and trusts. Scholars and students of such disciplines as literature, classics, history, theology, theatre and rhetoric will discover new insights into the art of equity in the law and beyond. Along the way, Watt offers a new theory on the naming of Dickens' chancery case Jarndyce and Jarndyce and suggests a new connection between Shakespeare and the origin of equity in modern law. 'This beautiful book, deeply learned in the branch of jurisprudence we call equity and deeply engaged with the western literary tradition, gives new life to equity in the legal sense by connecting it with equity in the larger sense: as it is defined both in ordinary language and experience and by great writers, especially Dickens and Shakespeare. Equity Stirring transforms our sense of what equity is and can be and demonstrates in a new and graceful way the importance of connecting law with other arts of mind and language.' James Boyd White, author of Living Speech: Resisting the Empire of Force 'Equity Stirring' is a fine example of interdisciplinary legal scholarship at its best. Watt has managed to produce a book that is fresh and innovative, and thoroughly accessible. Deploying a range of familiar, and not so familiar, texts from across the humanities, Watt has presented a fascinating historical and literary commentary on the evolution of modern ideas of justice and equity. Ian Ward, Professor of Law at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. "this is an important, compendious, and thought-provoking work that should be on the shelves of everyone interested in equity studies." Mark Fortier, Law and Literature "there is much of interest to the legal historian...the book's insights and erudition did engage this rather sceptical reader, who would like to believe that equity could achieve justice, but fears rather that it can only be as fair as the court dispensing it." Rosemary Auchmuty, The Journal of Legal History "With luck, Equity Stirring will stir...taxonomic positivists from their culture of entitlement, waking them to the possibility that law and justice do not form the perfect quadration". Nick Piska, Social & Legal Studies "a highly imaginative, original and refreshing foray into the legal and ethical import of concepts too often thought to be difficult, archaic and obscure...Watt gives us a way into the subject which is forceful in its imaginative reach and its ethical import..." David Gurnham, Law, Culture and the Humanities