WHEN WORDS LOSE THEIR MEANING CONSTITUTIONS AND RECONSTITUTIONS OF LANGUAGE CHARACTER AND COMMUNITY

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When Words Lose Their Meaning

Author : James Boyd White
ISBN : 9780226056043
Genre : Law
File Size : 41.66 MB
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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
Category: Law

Justice As Translation

Author : James Boyd White
ISBN : 0226894967
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 67.90 MB
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White extends his conception of United States law as a constitutive rhetoric shaping American legal culture that he proposed in When Words Lose Their Meaning, and asks how Americans can and should criticize this culture and the texts it creates. In determining if a judicial opinion is good or bad, he explores the possibility of cultural criticism, the nature of conceptual language, the character of economic and legal discourse, and the appropriate expectations for critical and analytic writing. White employs his unique approach by analyzing individual cases involving the Fourth Amendment of the United States constitution and demonstrates how a judge translates the facts and the legal tradition, creating a text that constructs a political and ethical community with its readers. "White has given us not just a novel answer to the traditional jurisprudential questions, but also a new way of reading and evaluating judicial opinions, and thus a new appreciation of the liberty which they continue to protect."—Robin West, Times Literary Supplement "James Boyd White should be nominated for a seat on the Supreme Court, solely on the strength of this book. . . . Justice as Translation is an important work of philosophy, yet it is written in a lucid, friendly style that requires no background in philosophy. It will transform the way you think about law."—Henry Cohen, Federal Bar News & Journal "White calls us to rise above the often deadening and dreary language in which we are taught to write professionally. . . . It is hard to imagine equaling the clarity of eloquence of White's challenge. The apparently effortless grace of his prose conveys complex thoughts with deceptive simplicity."—Elizabeth Mertz, Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities "Justice as Translation, like White's earlier work, provides a refreshing reminder that the humanities, despite the pummelling they have recently endured, can be humane."—Kenneth L. Karst, Michigan Law Review
Category: Political Science

The Edge Of Meaning

Author : James Boyd White
ISBN : 0226894800
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 37.12 MB
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Certain questions are basic to the human condition: how we imagine the world, and ourselves and others within it; how we confront the constraints of language and the limits of our own minds; and how we use imagination to give meaning to past experiences and to shape future ones. These are the questions James Boyd White addresses in The Edge of Meaning, exploring each through its application to great works of Western culture—Huckleberry Finn, the Odyssey, and the paintings of Vermeer among them. In doing so, White creates a deeply moving and insightful book and presents an inspiring conception of mind, language, and the essence of living.
Category: Literary Criticism

Acts Of Hope

Author : James Boyd White
ISBN : 0226895114
Genre : Law
File Size : 32.53 MB
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To which institutions or social practices should we grant authority? When should we instead assert our own sense of what is right or good or necessary? In this book, James Boyd White shows how texts by some of our most important thinkers and writers—including Plato, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Mandela, and Lincoln—answer these questions, not in the abstract, but in the way they wrestle with the claims of the world and self in particular historical and cultural contexts. As they define afresh the institutions or practices for which they claim (or resist) authority, they create authorities of their own, in the very modes of thought and expression they employ. They imagine their world anew and transform the languages that give it meaning. In so doing, White maintains, these works teach us about how to read and judge claims of authority made by others upon us; how to decide to which institutions and practices we should grant authority; and how to create authorities of our own through our thoughts and arguments. Elegant and accessible, this book will appeal to anyone wanting to better understand one of the primary processes of our social and political lives.
Category: Law

Living Speech

Author : James Boyd White
ISBN : 1400827531
Genre : Law
File Size : 29.75 MB
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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.
Category: Law

The Tragic Vision Of Politics

Author : Richard Ned Lebow
ISBN : 0521534852
Genre : History
File Size : 21.78 MB
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Exploration of how ethical behaviour in international affairs advances national security.
Category: History

The Varieties Of British Political Thought 1500 1800

Author : J. G. A. Pocock
ISBN : 0521574986
Genre : History
File Size : 38.83 MB
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A history of political debate and theory in England (later Britain) between the English Reformation and French Revolution.
Category: History

Heracles Bow

Author : James Boyd White
ISBN : 0299104141
Genre : Law
File Size : 49.2 MB
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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.
Category: Law

The Edge Of Meaning

Author : James Boyd White
ISBN : 0226894800
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 52.64 MB
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Download : 452
Read : 578

Certain questions are basic to the human condition: how we imagine the world, and ourselves and others within it; how we confront the constraints of language and the limits of our own minds; and how we use imagination to give meaning to past experiences and to shape future ones. These are the questions James Boyd White addresses in The Edge of Meaning, exploring each through its application to great works of Western culture—Huckleberry Finn, the Odyssey, and the paintings of Vermeer among them. In doing so, White creates a deeply moving and insightful book and presents an inspiring conception of mind, language, and the essence of living.
Category: Literary Criticism

Thucydides And The Pursuit Of Freedom

Author : Mary P. Nichols
ISBN : 9780801455575
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 54.52 MB
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In Thucydides and the Pursuit of Freedom, Mary P. Nichols argues for the centrality of the idea of freedom in Thucydides' thought. Through her close reading of his History of the Peloponnesian War, she explores the manifestations of this theme. Cities and individuals in Thucydides' history take freedom as their goal, whether they claim to possess it and want to maintain it or whether they desire to attain it for themselves or others. Freedom is the goal of both antagonists in the Peloponnesian War, Sparta and Athens, although in different ways. One of the fullest expressions of freedom can be seen in the rhetoric of Thucydides’ Pericles, especially in his famous funeral oration. More than simply documenting the struggle for freedom, however, Thucydides himself is taking freedom as his cause. On the one hand, he demonstrates that freedom makes possible human excellence, including courage, self-restraint, deliberation, and judgment, which support freedom in turn. On the other hand, the pursuit of freedom, in one’s own regime and in the world at large, clashes with interests and material necessity, and indeed the very passions required for its support. Thucydides’ work, which he himself considered a possession for all time, therefore speaks very much to our time, encouraging the defense of freedom while warning of the limits and dangers in doing so. The powerful must defend freedom, Thucydides teaches, but beware that the cost not become freedom itself.
Category: Philosophy