Philosophy, Social Theory, and the Rule of Law

Published by: University of California Press

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Philosophy, Social Theory, and the Rule of Law

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Songs without Music

Aesthetic Dimensions of Law and Justice

Desmond Manderson

In this pathbreaking and provocative analysis of the aesthetics of law, the historian, legal theorist, and musician Desmond Manderson argues that by treating a text, legal or otherwise, as if it were merely a sequence of logical propositions, readers miss its formal and symbolic meanings. Creatively using music as a model, he demonstrates that law is not a sterile, rational structure, but a cultural form to be valued and enhanced through rhetoric and metaphors, form, images, and symbols. To further develop this argument, the book is divided into chapters, each of which is based on a different musical form.

Law, for Manderson, should strive for neither coherence nor integrity. Rather, it is imperfectly realized, constantly reinterpreted, and always in flux. Songs without Music is written in an original, engaging, and often humorous style, and exhibits a deep knowledge of both law and music. It successfully traverses several disciplines and builds an original and persuasive argument for a legal aesthetic. The book will appeal to a broad readership in law, political theory, literary criticism, and cultural studies.

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The Triumph of Venus

The Erotics of the Market

Jeanne Lorraine Schroeder

The theory of law and economics that dominates American jurisprudence today views the market as rational and individuals as driven by the desire to increase their wealth. It is a view riddled with misconceptions, as Jeanne Lorraine Schroeder demonstrates in this challenging work, which looks at contemporary debates in legal theory through the lens of psychoanalysis and continental philosophy. Through metaphors drawn from classical mythology and interpreted via Lacanian psychoanalysis and Hegelian philosophy, Schroeder exposes the hidden and repressed erotics of the market. Her work shows how the predominant economic analysis of markets and the standard romantic critique of markets are in fact mirror images, reflecting the misconception that reason and passion are inalterably opposed.

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Weimar

A Jurisprudence of Crisis

Arthur Jacobson

This selection of the major works of constitutional theory during the Weimar period reflects the reactions of legal scholars to a state in permanent crisis, a society in which all bets were off. Yet the Weimar Republic's brief experiment in constitutionalism laid the groundwork for the postwar Federal Republic, and today its lessons can be of use to states throughout the world. Weimar legal theory is a key to understanding the experience of nations turning from traditional, religious, or command-and-control forms of legitimation to the rule of law.

Only two of these authors, Hans Kelsen and Carl Schmitt, have been published to any extent in English, but they and the others whose writings are translated here played key roles in the political and constitutional struggles of the Weimar Republic. Critical introductions to all the theorists and commentaries on their works have been provided by experts from Austria, Canada, Germany, and the United States. In their general introduction, the editors place the Weimar debate in the context of the history and politics of the Weimar Republic and the struggle for constitutionalism in Germany. This critical scrutiny of the Weimar jurisprudence of crisis offers an invaluable overview of the perils and promise of constitutional development in states that lack an entrenched tradition of constitutionalism.

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