Rhetorical Knowledge in Legal Practice and Critical Legal Theory
Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critique
278 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.70 in
- Published: April 2023
- Published: November 2006
- Published: November 2010
A clear summary of contemporary rhetorical philosophy and its intersections with hermeneutics and critical theory
This book describes the significance of rhetorical knowledge for law through detailed discussions of some of the most difficult legal issues facing courts today, including affirmative action, gay rights, and assisted suicide.
Francis J. Mootz responds to both extremes, those who argue that law is merely a rhetorical mask for the exercise of power and those who demonstrate an ideological faith in law’s autonomy, and he breaks new ground by returning to modern classics in the fields of rhetoric and hermeneutics. Drawing from Chaim Perelman's "new rhetoric" and Hans-Georg Gadamer's "philosophical hermeneutics," Mootz argues that justice is a product of rhetorical knowledge. Drawing from Nietzsche, Mootz’s conception of rhetorical knowledge opens up the dynamic possibilities of critical legal theory.
“Rejecting the unfulfilled ideals of certainty, singular truths, and perspicuous clarity in legal discourse, Mootz offers a provocative and well-grounded consideration of the way that law and legal practice simultaneously create and are grounded in rhetorical knowledge. The book reveals the dynamic character of law’s rhetorical knowledge and, at the same time, insists on the possibility of reason and rationality.”
—William Lewis, Drake University
“Rhetorical Knowledge in Legal Practice and Critical Legal Theory is an important resource for any serious student of rhetoric and law. And it is a significant step in overcoming the modem law's ‘deeply ironic resistance to rhetoric.’”
—Argumentation and Advocacy