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Metaphor and Rhetoric in Science & Law

Vak 2018-2019

Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.

Admission requirements

This course is an (extracurricular) Honours Class: an honours elective in the Honours College programme. There are limited spots available for third-year non-honours students. Admission will be based on motivation.

This course brings together the disciplines of Law, Philosophy and Linguistics. Students of these disciplines are the target group of this course, as well as students of the social sciences and the humanities with an interest in law. Readings draw from all three disciplines. As the legal readings overlap with rhetoric and philosophy, they are accessible also for students from other disciplines than law.

Description

In this course, we will investigate to what extent science and law are rhetorical activities, with respect to not only the presentation of knowledge (the aspect of style, arrangement and argument), but also, and more fundamental, to the production of knowledge.

In the first part of the course (meetings 1-3), we will explore the role of language in science, in particular the distinction between literal and figurative language use, a distinction that is predominant in science and law. Traditionally, literal language is connected with truth and logic, whereas figurative language (such as metaphor, metonymy and irony) is associated with stylistic embellishment or even empty verbiage. The question is whether such a sharp distinction between literal and figurative language use can be made. Research exhibits that rhetorical elements are present in all phases of scientific practices, from the very basis of scientific activity, such as sensory perception, to the construction and publication of a scientific theory. We will particularly focus on metaphor to display the rhetorical aspects of science.

In the second part of the course (meeting 4-9) we will investigate what such a perspective on the role of rhetoric in the production of knowledge means for law, in particularly for legislation, legal adjudication and legal praxis. We will explore to what extent our ideas about legal adjudication and interpretation are shaped by the metaphors we use when reflecting on aspects of legal reasoning (such as proportionality). In addition, we will exhibit the metaphors that are decisive for the way in which law legitimizes legal phenomena such as copyright. Finally, we will study how language-use in fact co-constitutes legal reality (case study: hate speech).

Course objectives

Knowledge:
At the end of this course, the students:
• have developed multiple perspectives complementary to the dominant view on the role of language in science and law as a mere means to communicate research findings;
• are acquainted with the philosophical and linguistic insights that contributed to the “Linguistic Turn” in science and law;
• have knowledge of how conceptual metaphors structure the way we perceive and, by consequence, regulate legal phenomena;
• recognize the force of speech to act or to consummate an action (performativity of language).

Skills:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
• Employ research skills and initiative in identifying additional relevant source material;
• Direct and manage their own research for a research paper;
• Articulate ideas effectively in written work, peer review, group activity and discussion.

Timetable

Tuesdays from 17.15 hrs - 20.00 hrs. With exception of Friday 8 March

  1. Tuesday 5 February
  2. Tuesdag 12 February
  3. Tuesday 19 February
  4. Tuesday 26 February
  5. Tuesday 5 March
  6. Friday 8 March
  7. Tuesday 12 March
  8. Tuesday 19 March

Deadline research paper: 5 April 2019

Location

Old Observatory Leiden, room c005

Programme

Part I: Metaphor & Rhetoric in Science

  1. Knowledge and logic in science & law: the classic view
    (Excerpts from Aristotle, Hobbes, Wiener Kreis, Montesquieu, MacCormick & Alexy)
  2. The role of exemplars in science
    (Thomas Nickles: Kuhnian puzzle solving and schema theory, Philosophy of Science, (67)3 (2000)
    Ian Hacking: ‘What logic did to rhetoric’, Journal of Cognition and Culture 13, 419-436 (2013))
    3 (Guest Lecturer I) “All language is metaphorical”
    (Friedriech Nietzsche: On truths and Lies in nonmoral sense: http://nietzsche.holtof.com/Nietzsche_various/on_truth_and_lies.htm
    I.A. Richardson: Chapter ‘Metaphor’ from The Philosophy of Rhetoric, Oxford: Oxford UP, 89-114 (1936)
    Mary Hesse:’ The cognitive claims of metaphor’, Journal of speculative philosophy, Vol. II, No. 1, 1-16 (1988))

Part II: Metaphor & Rhetoric in Law

4 (Guest Lecturer II) Introduction: rhetoric and law
(Sanford A. Schane: The Corporation is a person: the language of a legal fiction, 61 Tul. L. Rev. 563 (1986-1987)
James Boyd White: Law as rhetoric, rhetoric as law: the arts of cultural and communal life, Univ. of Chicago Law Review: Vol. 52, Iss. 3 , Article 4 (1985))
5 Case Study I: Deduction and analogy in law
(Larry Alexander: ‘The banality of legal reasoning’, 73 Notre Dame L. Rev. 517 (1998)
Frederick Schauer: ‘Formalism’, The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 97, Nr. 4, 509-548 (1988)
Carel Smith: ‘Exemplary reasoning and the rhetoric of literality’)
6 Synopsis of endpaper: peer review
7 Case study III: Conceptual metaphors in the legal concepts of creativity and internet
(Stephan Jarsson: Conceptions in the code: what the ‘copyright code’ tells us about creativity, social change and normative conflicts in the digital society,’ Societal Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 1009-1030 (2012)
J.H.. Blavin & I.G. Cohen: Gore, Gibsson and Goldsmith: the evolution of internet metaphors and commentary, Harv. JL & Tech. 16, 265 (2002))
8 Case study IV: Performativity: how speech changes reality
(John Searle: chapters from (1995) The Construction of Social Reality, NY: The Free press (1995), p. 1-51
Judith Butler: ‘Sovereign performatives’ from Excitable speech: a politics of the performative. New York: Routledge (1997)

Course Load

This course is worth 5 EC, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

  • Seminar meetings (8): 18 hours
  • (and a meeting synopsis research paper): 2
  • Literature: 46 hours
  • Assignments: 18 hours
  • Presentation: 20
  • Final essay: 43 hours

Assessment method

Students deliver weekly reading responses (questions and observations in response to the prescribed literature).
In addition, students give one presentation of app. 10 min. (including PP).

At the end of the course, students write a research paper on the basis of a legal case (choice of 5 cases).

In preparation for the research paper, students write a synopsis of the final paper in week 7. They comment on the synopsis of other students (peer review).

  • Research paper (1): 50%
  • Oral presentation (1):15%
  • Preparation papers (5): questions, observations: 25%
  • Participation, including peer review: 10%

Please note: Attendance is compulsory.

Blackboard and uSis

Blackboard will be used in this course. Students can register for the Blackboard site two weeks prior to the start of the course.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally.

Reading list

provisional

  • Excerpts from Aristotle, Hobbes, Wiener Kreis, Montesquieu, MacCormick & Alexy (copy)
  • J.H.. Blavin & I.G. Cohen: Gore, Gibsson and Goldsmith: the evolution of internet metaphors and commentary, Harv. JL & Tech. 16, 265 (2002)
  • Larry Alexander: ‘The banality of legal reasoning’, 73 Notre Dame L. Rev. 517 (1998)
  • Judith Butler: ‘Sovereign performatives’ from Excitable speech: a politics of the performative. New York: Routledge (1997)
  • Ian Hacking: ‘What logic did to rhetoric’, Journal of Cognition and Culture 13, 419-436 (2013)
  • Mary Hesse:’ The cognitive claims of metaphor’,* Journal of speculative philosophy*, Vol. II, No. 1, 1-16 (1988)
  • Stephan Jarsson: Conceptions in the code: what the ‘copyright code’ tells us about creativity, social change and normative conflicts in the digital society,’ Societal Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 1009-1030 (2012)
  • Friedriech Nietzsche: On truths and Lies in nonmoral sense: http://nietzsche.holtof.com/Nietzsche_various/on_truth_and_lies.htm
  • I.A. Richardson: Chapter ‘Metaphor’ from The Philosophy of Rhetoric, Oxford: Oxford UP, 89-114 (1936)
  • Sanford A. Schane: The Corporation is a person: the language of a legal fiction, 61 Tul. L. Rev. 563 (1986-1987)
  • Frederick Schauer: ‘Formalism’, the Yale Law Journal, Vol. 97, Nr. 4, 509-548 (1988)
  • John Searle: chapters from (1995) The Construction of Social Reality, NY: The Free press (1995), p. 1-51
  • Carel Smith: ‘Exemplary reasoning and the rhetoric of literality’ (copy)
  • Thomas Nickles: Kuhnian puzzle solving and schema theory, Philosophy of Science, (67)3 (2000)
  • James Boyd White: Law as rhetoric, rhetoric as law: the arts of cultural and communal life, Univ. of Chicago Law Review: Vol. 52, Iss. 3 , Article 4 (1985)

Registration

Enrolling in this course is possible from Tuesday November 6th until Thursday November 15th 23.59 hrs through the Honours Academy, via this link.

Contact

Mr.dr. C.E. Smith