Book cover for 'Law and the Postmodern Mind'
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Law and the Postmodern Mind

Essays on Psychoanalysis and Jurisprudence
Peter Goodrich and David Gray Carlson, Editors
Explores the connections between psychoanalysis and law


David Gray Carlson and Peter Goodrich argue that the postmodern legal mind can be characterized as having shifted the focus of legal analysis away from the modernist understanding of law as a system that is unitary and separate from other aspects of culture and society. In exploring the various "other dimensions" of law, scholars have developed alternative species of legal analysis and recognized the existence of different forms of law. Carlson and Goodrich assert that the postmodern legal mind introduced a series of "minor jurisprudences" or partial forms of legal knowledge, which both compete with and subvert the modernist conception of a unitary system of law. In doing so scholars from a variety of disciplines pursue the implications of applying the insights of their disciplines to law. Carlson and Goodrich have assembled in this volume essays from some of our leading thinkers that address what is arguably one of the most fundamental of interdisciplinary encounters, that of psychoanalysis and law.

While psychoanalytic interpretations of law are by no means a novelty within common law jurisprudence, the extent and possibilities of the terrain opened up by psychoanalysis have yet to be extensively addressed. The intentional subject and "reasonable man" of law are disassembled in psychoanalysis to reveal a chaotic and irrational libidinal subject, a sexual being, a body and its drives. The focus of the present collection of essays is upon desire as an inner law, upon love as an interior idiom of legality, and represents a signficant and at times surprising development of the psychoanalytic analysis of legality.

These essays should appeal to scholars in law and in psychology.

The contributors are Drucilla Cornell, Jacques Derrida, Peter Goodrich, Pierre Legendre, Alain Pottage, Michel Rosenfeld, Renata Salecl, Jeanne L. Schroeder, Anton Schutz, Henry Staten, and Slavoj Zizek.

David Gray Carlson is Professor of Law, Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.

Peter Goodrich is Professor of Law, University of London and University of California, Los Angeles.

Look Inside


Introduction - 1
Peter Goodrich and David Gray Carlson

1. A Unique and Different Subject of Law - 13
Alain Pottage

2. The Deconstruction of Kantian Ethics and the Question of Pleasure - 53
Henry Staten

3. Why Does the Law Need an Obscene Supplement? - 75
Slavoj Zizek

4. The Vestal and the Fasces: Property and the Feminine in Law and Psychoanalysis - 99
Jeanne L. Schroeder

5. Love Me, Love My Dog - 129
Renata Salecl

6. The Identity of the Constitutional Subject - 143
Michel Rosenfeld

7. The Other Dimension of Law - 175
Pierre Legendre

8. Sons of the Writ, Sons of Wrath:
Pierre Legendre's Critique of Rational Law-Giving - 193
Anton Schutz

9. Translating Legendre, or The Poetical Sermon of a Contemporary Jurist - 223
Peter Goodrich

10. Rethinking the Beyond of the Real - 239
Drucilla Cornell

11. For the Love of Lacan - 277
Jacques Derrida

Contributors - 307

Index - 309

Product Details

  • 328 pages.
  • 1 figure.
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  • 2009
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  • 978-0-472-02310-3

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