240F | CCN: 24503

Legal Rhetoric and Philosophy

Law, Language, Writing and Information

Instructor: Marianne Constable,

4 Units

The seminar this semester will consider some of the ways in which law is a system of information. Some readings will be quite grounded accounts of law and writing or documents; others will consist in more theoretical approaches to contemporary law and its critique. The aim is to offer an overview of possible approaches to law and legal texts for students with little background in law and/or little background in humanities, while simultaneously allowing students who have the background to delve deeper into issues of law, knowledge and “information.” Although the focus of the readings is on US/Europe or common law/civil law, students interested in other areas or laws are welcome. Brief presentations and a 20-page polished paper are required.

Foucault, selections/titles depending on student background
Ben Kafka, The Demon of Writing; Paperwork
Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology
Kuriyama, The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine
Latour, The Making of Law
Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
Quinn, Figures of Speech
Vismann, Files: Law and Media Technology
Additional articles on law and administration to be posted on B-courses