Justice as Attunement : Transforming Constitutions in Law, Literature, Economics and the Rest of Life book cover
1st Edition

Justice as Attunement
Transforming Constitutions in Law, Literature, Economics and the Rest of Life

ISBN 9781138892309
Published May 21, 2015 by Routledge
296 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

The meaning of an expression resides not in the expression itself but in the experience of a person’s engagement with it. Meaning will be different not only to different people but also to the same person at different times. This book offers a way of attending to these different meanings. This way (or method) is a version of a trans-cultural activity that Richard Dawson calls attunement. The activity of attunement involves a movement of self-adjustment to a language, which a person transforms in her or his use of it. Consciously performing the activity can enable understanding of the processes by which we constitute ourselves and others when we use a language. This directly connects to the topic justice, which is concerned with constituting appropriate selves and relations.

Justice as Attunement engages with a wide range of texts – legal, literary, economic, philosophical, among others – and illuminates many useful and fascinating connections between them. There is a sense in which this book transcends disciplinary boundaries, for, in addition to students and scholars of law, literature, economics, and philosophy, it is written to a general reader who is interested in reflecting on and doing justice to their experiences in life.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Gary Watt,  Acknowledgements,  Table of Cases,  PROLOGUE,  Attunement to Attunement,  To a General Reader,  When a Lawyer Writes a Complaint: Herbert A. Eastman,  INTRODUCTION,  Attunement to and from James Boyd White: Hearing the Hearing,  Connecting Readers,  An Alphabetical Lexicon,  A Guide for Confusion: Composition and Literary Criticism at Amherst College,  Quotations: Political Listening,  Pronouns,  ACTIVITY,  ‘Questions of a Certain Sort’: Michael Oakeshott,  'Now I Know How to Go On’: Ludwig Wittgenstein,  ALIENATION,  The ‘Alienation Effect’: Bertolt Brecht,  'The Art of Placing Action at a Distance’: Milner S. Ball,  ATTENTION,  The Love Rule: Simone Weil,  ‘A Certain Negro Woman’: Prigg v. Pennsylvania,  Economizing on Attention: Arjo Klamer,  ATTUNEMENT,  ‘When One Learns a Distant Language’: A. L. Becker,  ‘Learning as Attunement’: Frances Trix,  CHARACTER,  ‘Prejudices’: Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the French Revolution,  ‘Integrity’: Jane Austen’s Persuasion,  ‘Rational Fools’ and Homo Economicus: Amartya Sen,  CONSTITUTION,  ‘An Entailed Inheritance’: Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the French Revolution,  ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ and McCulloch v. Maryland,  Reimagining South Africa’s ‘Transformative Constitution’,  CONVERSATION,  ‘A Game with Hard Rules’: David Tracy,  ‘The Power of Conversation’: Jane Austen’s Persuasion,  ‘The Longer Conversation’: The Waitangi Tribunal,  ‘By Challenging Your View of Economics’: Peter E. Earl,  CULTURE,  ‘Talking Past Each Other’: Joan Metge,  ‘The Tribe of Economics’: Arjo Klamer,  EQUALITY,  ‘Economic Power’: John R. Commons and Holden v Hardy,  Speaking Truth to Power: Nelson Mandela,  Socratic Questioning: Clark D. Cunningham,  EXPERIENCE,  ‘Beyond Our Own Circle’: Jane Austen’s Persuasion,  ‘Every Freshman a Phoenix’: Amherst Composition and Literary Criticism,  ‘Genuine Limit-Situations’: David Tracy,  ‘I Jettisoned Chicago Economics’: Leonard Rapping,  IMAGINATION,  ‘In One Person Many People’: William Shakespeare’s King Richard II,  ‘Maps of Sovereignty’: Perry Dane on the Cherokee Nation,  Images of Images: Kenneth Boulding’s The Image,  INTEGRATION,  ‘An Integral Reality’: Lon Fuller’s Jurisprudence,  Modern Constitutional Diversity: James Tully’s Strange Multiplicity,  JUDGEMENT,  ‘When We Think About New Cases’: Linda Ross Meyer,  ‘The Source of This Court’s Authority’: Planned Parenthood v. Casey,  JUSTICE,  ‘The Sole Arbiter of Its Own Justice’: Wi Parata v. Bishop of Wellington,  ‘The Just Man Justices’: Gerard Manley Hopkins,  ‘When the Laws Themselves Become Immoral’: Bram Fischer,  ‘A Coalescence between Law and Justice’: Ismail Mahomed,  LANGUAGE,  ‘It Most Froze Me to Hear such Talk’: Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn,  When a Law Student Reads Huckleberry Finn: Elizabeth Perry Hodges,  When an Economist Drafts Legislation: John R. Commons,  ‘The Legal-Economic Nexus’: Warren J. Samuels,  LISTENING,  ‘Am I Understanding You Well?’: Harville Hendrix,  ‘Listening Modes’: Mark Weisberg and Jean Koh Peters,  METAPHOR,  ‘The Whole of Thinking’: Composition and Literary Criticism at Amherst,  ‘The Negotiation of Meaning’: George Lakoff and Mark Johnson,  ‘The Economy of Intellect’: D.N. McCloskey,  METHOD,  The Case Method of Law: Anthony Kronman,  ‘A New Horizon’: Bernard Lonergan’s ‘Transcendental Method’,  MOVEMENT,  ‘Transcending Our Own Competitive Particularity’: C.S. Lewis,  ‘Stuck’: Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn,  ‘Constitutional Transformation’ in South Africa: A. J. van der Walt,  PERFORMANCE,  ‘The Performing Self’: Composition and Literary Criticism at Amherst,  Authority and Communication: Charles Bingham,  PLAY,  ‘Your Getting Lost’: Robert Frost,  A ‘True Question’: Hans-Georg Gadamer,  QUESTIONING,  ‘The Edge of an Abyss’: Composition and Literary Criticism at Amherst,  ‘The Socrates within Us’: R. G. Collingwood,  READING,  ‘Ear Training’: Composition and Literary Criticism at Amherst,  ‘Good Reading’: J. Hillis Miller,  RHETORIC,  ‘To Rediscover Rhetorical Elements’: Kenneth Burke,  ‘Probing for Common Ground’: Wayne Booth’s Rhetorology,  SILENCE,  Nelson Mandela’s Speech from the Dock,  ‘A Silent Professor’: Mark Weisberg,  UNDERSTANDING,  ‘The Contents of this Treaty’: Waitangi,  ‘Now I Know How to Go On’: Ludwig Wittgenstein,  ‘Fusion of Horizons’: Hans-Georg Gadamer,  VOICE,  ‘Officialese’: Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem,  ‘At Once Serious and Conversational’: Lani Guinier’s Demosprudence,  BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Richard Dawson has held teaching positions in economics, law, and politics and published work on the economic role of government, on colonization, and on literary dimensions of law.


"In all this, it is a very human book, nothing if not sincere, heartfelt, and personal. Whatever flaws it may seem to have are flaws born of the author’s courage in writing it: reflections of the complexities of a mind trying to be honest with itself. It is also brilliant."

- Jack L. Sammons, Mercer University School of Law for Interdisciplinary Journal of Law and Justice (number 11, 2014)