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

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  9 ratings  ·  3 reviews
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,
Paperback, 448 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by University Of Chicago Press (first published October 15th 2001)
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Matt Marro
Important inasmuch as it addresses the role that our understanding of human cognition should play in legal matters. Typically the only time "the mind" and "the law" meet are in issues of mental illness/competency. Prof. Winter helps address this issue by applying Lakoffian principles to the generation/evolution of laws. Three stars because much of his closing argument seems based on logical presumptions rather than empirical research.
I loved the first half, the cognitive science part, but did not entirely buy the second half, when he applies it to actual instances of judicial decision-making. Strong statements of difference notwithstanding, it seems like he mainly differs from the critical legal theorists in asserting that the "motivated" reasoning of judges is not conscious but rather a product of their (and our) cognitive processes.
Jun 13, 2008 John rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: law
Interesting, but ultimately tedious.
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