58 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2007
Metaphors are not pretty figures of speech; they affect the way people within cultures perceive reality. It is therefore significant that the metaphors most commonly used for the adversary system center on war and sports. This tends to over-emphasize the competitive aspects of litigation and disguise opportunities for more cooperative behavior. This article collects and analyzes those metaphors, and discusses the reasons for their powerful hold on legal culture. It also considers some of the negative effects of the metaphorical system and speculates about whether we could find and nurture alternative metaphors.
Keywords: adversary system, metaphor, war, sports, sex, ethics, battle
JEL Classification: K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Thornburg, Elizabeth G., Metaphors Matter: How Images of Battle, Sports and Sex Shape the Adversary System. Wisconsin Women's Law Journal, Vol. 10, p. 225, 1995. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1006305