Mootz offers an antidote to the fragmentation of contemporary legal theory with a collection of essays arguing that legal practice is a hermeneutical and rhetorical event that can best be understood and theorized in those terms. This is not a modern insight that wipes away centuries of dogmatic confusion; rather, Mootz draws on insights as old as the Western tradition itself. However, the essays are not antiquarian or merely descriptive, because hermeneutical and rhetorical philosophy have undergone important changes over the millennia. To "return" to hermeneutics and rhetoric as touchstones for law is to embrace dynamic traditions that provide the resources for theorists who seek to foster persuasion and understanding as an antidote to the emerging global order and the trend toward bureaucratization in accordance with expert administration, violent suppression, or both.
Francis J. Mootz III is Dean of the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific, USA