Vico and Imagination: An Ingenious Approach to Educating Lawyers with Semiotic Sensibility
- Francis J. Mootz III
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Law is a specialized semiotic realm, but lawyers generally are ignorant of this fact. Lawyers may manage meaning, but they also are managed by meaning. Seemingly trapped by the weight of pre-existing signs, their attempts to manage these meanings generally are limited to technical interventions and instrumentalist strategies. Signs have power over lawyers because they are embedded in narratives, a semiotic economy that confronts the lawyer as “given” even though it is dynamic and constantly under construction. Most lawyers do not make meaning through legal narratives; rather, they parrot bits of the controlling narratives in response to certain problems. Because clients often can achieve their objectives when their lawyers crudely manipulate the symbols of law, these endeavors pay very well. Well-paid lawyers tend not to ask too many questions. Consequently, semiotics is, at best, misunderstood by lawyers; more likely it is wholly unknown. A lawyer’s avowed instrumentalism is the very problem to be addressed in this regard. For the scope of discussion, I refer to Vico’s famous On the Study Methods of Our Time and draw my conclusion for the lawyer of our time.
- Ginaturco, Elio, trans. 1990. Translator’s introduction. In Giambattista Vico: On the study methods of our time, xxi–xlv. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
- Sebeok, Thomas A. 2001. Some reflections on Vico in semiotics. In Global semiotics, 135–145. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
- Vico, Giambattista. 1990. On the study methods of our time (trans: Elio Ginaturco). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. (Trans: Orig. Pub. 1965; Book Orig. Pub. 1709).
- Vico, Giambattista. 1993. On humanistic education: Six inaugural orations (trans: Girogia A. Pinton and Arthur W. Shippee). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
- Kelley, Donald R. 1976. In Vico veritas: The true philosophy and the new science. Social Research 43: 601–611.
- Kelley, Donald R. 1976. Vico’s road from philology to jurisprudence and back. In Giambattista Vico’s science of humanity, ed. Giorgio Tagliacozzo and Donald Phillip Verene. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Mooney, Michael. 1994. Vico in the tradition of rhetoric. Davis, CA: Hermagoras Press.
- Verene, Donald Phillip. 2008. Vichian moral philosophy: Prudence as jurisprudence. Chicago-Kent Law Review 83: 1107–1130.
- Bayer, Thora Illin. 2008. Vico’s principle of sensus communis and forensic eloquence. Chicago-Kent Law Review 83: 1131–1155.
- Sherwin, Richard K. 2008. Sublime jurisprudence: On the ethical education of the legal imagination in our time. Chicago-Kent Law Review 83: 1157–1196.
- Grassi, Ernesto. 1980. Rhetoric as philosophy. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania University Press.
- Grassi, Ernesto. 1976. The priority of common sense and imagination: Vico’s philosophical relevance today. Social Research 43: 553–580.
- Vico, Giambattista. The new science (trans: Thomas G. Bergin and Max H. Fisch). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
- Lilla, Mark. 1993. G.B. Vico: The making of an anti-modern. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Mootz III, Francis. 2008. Vico’s “ingenious method” and legal education. Chicago-Kent Law Review 83: 1261–1302.
- Vico and Imagination: An Ingenious Approach to Educating Lawyers with Semiotic Sensibility
International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique
Volume 22, Issue 1 , pp 11-22
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. William S. Boyd School of Law, Box 451003, 4505 South Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV, 89154-1003, USA