Make it new! The redeeming Modernism of law and the collapsing of its polarities

Condello, A. and Mason, L. 2019. Make it new! The redeeming Modernism of law and the collapsing of its polarities. Polemos. 13 (1), pp. 149-165. https://doi.org/10.1515/pol-2019-0008

TitleMake it new! The redeeming Modernism of law and the collapsing of its polarities
TypeJournal article
AuthorsCondello, A. and Mason, L.
Abstract

This article argues that law is an inherently modernist normative practice. Constructing a vision of Modernism which is at once an epistemology and an attitudinal disposition to doubt and make anew our assumptions about the world, the authors demonstrate that legal practice encounters the world through individual cases, 'examples'. Through these examples the law is capable of both interacting with and comprehending that world, while also being forced to question the law's own precepts and their application. In this manner, the law's generalisations and abstractions become concrete, and can indeed be upended, through fleeting, impressionistic and highly case-specific examples. This exemplarity within law explains how law is able to navigate its apparently contradictory aspirations and natures which have bedevilled legal philosophy for millennia. In reality, law exists within a series of polarities, rather than contradictions, which are navigated through the law?s encounters with examples from the extra-legal world. The authors conclude that this aspect of the law?s nature also has practical consequences, requiring the law to maintain the fora in which new and novel cases are heard, and through which law?s modernist spirit can thrive.

KeywordsLegal theory
Modernism
Examplarity
JournalPolemos
Journal citation13 (1), pp. 149-165
ISSN2036-4601
Year2019
PublisherDe Grutyer
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1515/pol-2019-0008
Publication dates
Published12 Apr 2019
Supplemental file
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)

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