A Clearing in the Forest: Law, Life, and Mind

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9780226902210: A Clearing in the Forest: Law, Life, and Mind

Cognitive science is transforming our understanding of the mind. New discoveries are changing how we comprehend not just language, but thought itself. Yet, surprisingly little of the new learning has penetrated discussions and analysis of the most important social institution affecting our lives-the law.

Drawing on work in philosophy, psychology, anthropology, linguistics, and literary theory, Steven L. Winter has created nothing less than a tour de force of interdisciplinary analysis. A Clearing in the Forest rests on the simple notion that the better we understand the workings of the mind, the better we will understand all its products-especially law. Legal studies today focus on analytic skills and grand normative theories. But, to understand how real-world, legal actors reason and decide, we need a different set of tools. Cognitive science provides those tools, opening a window on the imaginative, yet orderly mental processes that animate thinking and decisionmaking among lawyers, judges, and lay persons alike. Recent findings about how humans actually categorize and reason make it possible to explain legal reasoning in new, more cogent, more productive ways.

A Clearing in the Forest is a compelling meditation on both how the law works and what it all means. In uncovering the irrepressibly imaginative, creative quality of human reason, Winter shows how what we are learning about the mind changes not only our understanding of law, but ultimately of ourselves. He charts a unique course to understanding the world we inhabit, showing us the way to the clearing in the forest.

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About the Author:

Steven L. Winter is the Walter S. Gibbs Professor of Constitutional Law and director of the Center for Legal Studies at Wayne State University Law School.

Review:

NY Law JournalWinter demonstrates with his new tools what his intellectual forbearers, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Karl Llewellyn, merely suggested: regularity in law derives more from the imaginative processes than from rationalistic logic or rules.

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2001. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. 235 x 162 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. There is a virtual revolution going on within the cognitive sciences , writes Steven L. Winter in the preface of this new book. The revolution has irrevocably transformed our basic understanding of the mind, establishing both that imagination is central to cognition and that imagination is an orderly, systematic, embodied process. The implications are profound, changing how we understand language and thought and, therefore, entire debates in philosophy, literary theory and - most significantly - law. Drawing from all these disciplines, as well as from psychology, anthropology and linguistics, Winter has constructed nothing less than a tour de force of interdisciplinary analysis. A Cleaving in the Forest rests on the simple notion that the better we understand the intricate workings of the mind, the better we will understand all of its products - especially law. Categorization plays a key role in this understanding, for it is categories that define our expectations and, in so doing, shape what we find believable, what we judge accurate, what we experience as cogent, compelling and persuasive. But what does law do when our categories run out?Is pornographic speech protected by the First Amendment, or should it not be protected because it more closely resembles libel? Should abortion be protected because it falls into the category of rights reserved to the mother, or is it more like the category of harms done to others? Through law, the revolution in cognitive science finds almost limitless applications. In this compelling meditation not only on how the law works, but what it ultimately means, Winter charts a unique course to understanding the world we inhabit, showing us the w. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780226902210

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