When language meets the mind: Three questions
James Boyd White
Pages: 36 pages
Shipping Weight: 200 gram
ISBN (hardcover) : 9789058502636
The Tilburg Law Lectures Series is an initiative of the research institute (Schoordijk Institute) of the Tilburg University Faculty of Law. The purpose of this series is to highlight the work of the visiting lecturers and fellows working at the institute for a limited period of time.
In 2006 the lecture was held by James Boyd White,one of the founding fathers of the Law & Literature movement, presenting three crucial questions animating his research. At the centre of imaginative life and expression in law, literature and ordinary life, there is the moment when, as White puts it, `language meets the mind’. It is at this moment that three basic and inexhaustible questions arise. First: What is the language that this speaker – or I myself – is given by the culture to use on this occasion? This is an external, descriptive, and analytic question. Second: What relation does this speaker establish with his language? What does it do to him and what does he do with or to it? This is an internal, a normative, a personal and an artistic question. Third: What relation does this speaker establish with others in his speech – those spoken about, those spoken to? This is an ethical, even a political question. Reading texts by Simone Weil, Homer, Plato, Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, and Abraham Lincoln, White pursues these three questions. His conclusion is that while they are phrased as `language questions’ they are not as technical as they seem but `the first questions of intellectual life, present constantly in every enterprise of thought’.
Amongst other things, the series includes publications within the framework of the Montesquieu seminars (legal theory), the Anton Philips Chair (company law), the Interpolis chair (pensions), the rotating professorship in international and comparative law, the Piet Gilhuis chair in environmental law, and seminars by other international guests of institute.