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.
1 A Clearing in the Forest
3 What Is Metaphor?
4 Radial Categories
5 Compositional Structure
6 The Doctrinal Wheel
7 What Is the Color of Law?
8 How Do Rules Work?
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action activity Amendment analogy argued argument basic-level Bronston central chapter characterized claim color of office commerce common complex concept conceptual metaphors constitutional constraint context contingent conventional Court Critical Legal Studies cultural decision distinction doctrine Duncan Kennedy Eleanor Rosch embodied example experience explains expressions fact function Gentner George Lakoff H. L. A. Hart Holmes Holmes's human idealized cognitive models imaginative indeterminacy interactions interpretation judges Kennedy language legal decisionmaking legal positivism legal rule linguistic literal Llewellyn logic mapping Maurice Merleau-Ponty meaning ment Merleau-Ponty metonymic mother motivated narrative neural normative notion numbers objects park patterns persuasion Posner precisely principle prototype effects provides purpose question radial category rationalist rationalist model rationality relations Schauer schema sense social practices source domain speech Stanley Fish statute Stevens stop consonants story structure Sunstein supra note tacit knowledge things thought tion truth understanding words