Our Word Is Our Bond

Our Word Is Our Bond

Number of page: 232
Author: Marianne Constable
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804791687
Rating:
Category: Law

Words can be misspoken, misheard, misunderstood, or misappropriated; they can be inappropriate, inaccurate, dangerous, or wrong. When speech goes wrong, law often steps in as itself a speech act or series of speech acts. Our Word Is Our Bond offers a nuanced approach to language and its interaction and relations with modern law. Marianne Constable argues that, as language, modern law makes claims and hears claims of justice and injustice, which can admittedly go wrong. Constable proposes an alternative to understanding law as a system of rules, or as fundamentally a policy-making and problem-solving tool. Constable introduces and develops insights from Austin, Cavell, Reinach, Nietzsche, Derrida and Heidegger to show how claims of law are performative and passionate utterances or social acts that appeal implicitly to justice. Our Word Is Our Bond explains that neither law nor justice are what lawyers and judges say, nor what officials and scholars claim they are. However inadequate our law and language may be to the world, Constable argues that we know our world and name our ways of living and being in it through law and language. Justice today, however impossible to define and difficult to determine, depends on relations we have with one another through language and on the ways in which legal speech—the claims and responses that we make to one another in the name of the law—acts.

About The Author

Marianne Constable is Professor and Chair of the Department of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley. She is the author of Just Silences: The Limits and Possibilities of Modern Law(2005) and The Law of the Other: The Mixed Jury and Changes in Conceptions of Citizenship, Law and Knowledge (1994), winner of the Law and Society Association's J. Willard Hurst Prize in Legal History.