The Irrelevance of Contemporary Academic Philosophy for Law: Recovering the Rhetorical Tradition

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Mootz, Francis J., III
Philosophy; Law; Gadamer; Perelman; rhetorical knowledge; rhetoric; Plato; sophists; Legal History
book chapter description
This short paper appears in a volume of original essays, On Philosophy in American Law (Francis J. Mootz III ed., Cambridge Univ. Press 2009). I argue that the undeniable rift between philosophy and law is more than a simple dichotomy of theory and practice. Instead, the sharp distinction between philosophy and law occurred when both disciplines built insular guilds that employed distinctive vocabularies to distinguish themselves from rhetoric, and it is by returning to their roots in rhetoric that philosophy and law might find their common ground in the elucidation of rhetorical knowledge.