Taking the novel position of dealing with law, classical rhetoric and feminism concurrently, this book considers the effects of beliefs about language on those who attempt to theorize about and use law to accomplish practical and political purposes. The author employs Aristotle's terminology to analyze economic and literary schools of thought in the US legal academy, noting the implicit language theory underlying claims by major thinkers in each school about the nature of law and its relationship to justice. The underlying assumption is that, as law can only work through language, beliefs about its relationship to justice are determined by assumptions about the nature of language. In addition, the author provides an alternative, feminist rhetoric that, being focused on the production of texts rather than their interpretation, offers a practical ethic of intervention.
'This book provides three extended readings of a single legal case, in which Professor Ranney tests the rhetorical possibilities of three schools of legal theory. Each reading is extensively developed, demonstrating her knowledge of the history of law, theories of legal interpretation, and contemporary legal theorists. The book is ambitious and elegantly designed; the treatment is intelligent, purposeful, and well informed.' Professor Carolyn Miller, North Carolina State University, USA 'Frances Ranney's Aristotle's Ethics and Legal Rhetoric. An Analysis of Language beliefs and the Law treats an important subject in a thoughtful way. Because of the consistency of her methodological work, Ranney not only provides theoretical and empirical data for further study but also produces wisdom in a just, rhetorical, and useful way.' Rhetorical Reviews
Contents: Rhetoric, law, ethics, feminism; The things we value: theory, practice, and production; The things we say: the speculations of legal science; The things we do: the activities of the legal imagination; The things we make: the productions of legal rhetoric; Erring for justice; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.