Emotion in Context: Exploring the Interaction between Emotions and Legal Institutions
8 Pages Posted: 8 May 2009 Last revised: 28 Mar 2010
This is a brief introduction to the symposium "Emotion in Context: Exploring the Interaction between Emotions and Legal Institutions," published in the Vermont Law Review. The conference that led to this symposium took place at the University of Chicago Law School in May 2008, exactly a decade after the first University of Chicago Law School conference on law and emotion. Significant progress has been made during those ten years. The inquiry has shifted from whether emotion plays a role in legal reasoning to how emotion and legal reason interact, and to which emotions ought to play a role in particular legal contexts.
We design our institutions based on assumptions about human behavior, and the interdisciplinary study of emotion has offered valuable insights into whether these assumptions are well grounded. The next step is to explore how generalizable these insights are: that is, whether emotional dynamics remain stable across institutional contexts. The papers in this volume explore the complex interaction between emotion and social structure to consider both how institutional context affects the experience and expression of emotion, and how emotion norms affect the shape and operation of a range of legal institutions. The volume includes articles by Scott Anderson, Susan Bandes, Mary Anne Case, Kevin Claremont, Christoph Engel, Richard Epstein, Oliver Goodenough, and Cass Sunstein.
Keywords: emotion, cognitive neuroscience, legal institutions
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