Fire and Ice: Reframing Emotion and Cognition in the Law
47 Pages Posted: 14 May 2019 Last revised: 24 Oct 2019
Date Written: April 10, 2019
Recent advances in neuroscience have shown that cognition and emotion often work interdependently, operating as if emerging from a single faucet. This means that the stereotypes of a divided “ice cold cognition” and “hot fire emotion” are overly simplistic and inaccurate. The outdated but influential Langdellian approach to law, lawyering and legal education still places cognitive legal reasoning as the centerpiece. Instead, the cognition-emotion conceptualization should be revised so that positive emotion is expressly accepted, used, and managed within legal systems. Students and lawyers should be taught how to successfully feel and act like lawyers, as well as think like them.
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