New Wine in Old Wineskins: Metaphor and Legal Research
Notre Dame L. Rev Online, Vol. 92, p. 1, 2016
22 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2016 Last revised: 21 Feb 2017
Date Written: August 1, 2016
We construct our conceptual world using metaphors. Yet sometimes our concepts are flawed and our metaphors do damage. This Article examines a set of metaphors currently doing damage in law – those for legal research. It shows that while technology has radically altered the material world of legal research, our dominant metaphors have remained static, and thus, become outmoded. Conceptualizing today’s reality using old metaphors fails; it is like pouring new wine in old wineskins. To address this problem, this Article first surfaces unwarranted assumptions buried in the metaphors we use when talking about research and then proposes new metaphors to better serve theory and practice. It concludes by examining how this investigation into “finding law” implicates primary jurisprudential concepts of law.
Keywords: conceptual metaphor theory, legal research, technology, jurisprudence, law, text
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