Law and the modern mind pdf

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law and the modern mind pdf

Law and the Modern Mind - Wikipedia

Much good ink has been spilled in arguing that question. A brief survey of the controversy will illuminate our thesis. The conventional view may he summarized thus: Law is a complete body of rules existing from time immemorial and unchangeable except to the limited extent that legislatures have changed the rules by enacted statutes. Legislatures arc expressly empowered thus to change the law. But the judges are not to make or change the law but to apply it.
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Law and the Modern Mind

Conceiving of self-government as a psychological as well as a political project, jurists built a republic of laws upon the Enlightenment science of the mind with the aim of producing a responsible citizenry. Susanna Blumenthal probes the assumptions and consequences of this undertaking, revealing how ideas about consciousness, agency, and accountability have shaped American jurisprudence. Focusing on everyday adjudication, Blumenthal shows that mental soundness was routinely disputed in civil as well as criminal cases. Litigants presented conflicting religious, philosophical, and medical understandings of the self, intensifying fears of a populace maddened by too much liberty. Judges struggled to reconcile common sense notions of rationality with novel scientific concepts that suggested deviant behavior might result from disease rather than conscious choice. Determining the threshold of competence was especially vexing in litigation among family members that raised profound questions about the interconnections between love and consent.

Clark, it "fell like a bomb on the legal world. The work is a bold and persuasive attack on the delusion that the law is a bastion of predictable and logical action. Jerome Frank's controversial thesis is that the decisions made by judge and jury are determined to an enormous extent by powerful, concealed, and highly idiosyncratic psychological prejudices that these decision-makers bring to the courtroom. Frank points out that legal verdicts are supposed to result from the application of legal rules to the facts of the suit--a procedure that sounds utterly methodical. Frank argues, that profound, immeasurable biases strongly influence the judge and jury's reaction to witnesses, lawyers, and litigants. As a result, we can never know what they will believe "the facts of the suit" to be.

Law and the Modern Mind is a book by Jerome Frank which argued that judicial decisions were more influenced by psychological factors than by objective legal premises. Frank, then a legal academic, published the book after having undergone six months of psychoanalysis.
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