Verhalen van het recht | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
2004
Volume 113 Number 4
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244

Abstract

Abstract

Literature sometimes makes a surprise appearance in a legal philosophy text. Novels or stories are used to support a philosophical argument, but also to question basic presuppositions of the law. This contribution investigates in what ways literary fiction can be used in legal philosophy. Legal philosophy tends to focus on abstract theories and arguments, while both literature and law are interested in the concrete. Stories, however, have a contextual quality and ambiguity, making them multi-layered, that the more restricted case description lacks. This makes stories valuable within a philosophical inquiry. I distinguish five functions that stories may fulfil in legal philosophy. Some of these are so radical that they may question the project of legal philosophy itself. However, one need not accept that route; it is the plurality of uses that makes stories an interesting addition to traditional forms of legal philosophy.

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2022-01-01
2024-05-23
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): jurisprudence; law and literature; legal methods; legal philosophy; storytelling
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