Law’s Sentiments

Robin West, Law’s Sentiments, in Edward Elgar Research Handbook on Law and Emotion (Susan A. Bandes, Jody Lynee Madeira, Kathryn Temple and Emily Kidd White eds. 2020, Forthcoming)

35 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2020

See all articles by Robin L. West

Robin L. West

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: June 29, 2020

Abstract

The chapter argues that law and the Rule of Law do not displace moral sentiments, but rather require them, and sometimes produce them. Law gives us some sense of physical security and thereby makes possible the fellow feeling and empathy that are the root of moral action. The chapter seeks to make this claim plausible by looking at fiction that describes various dystopian lawless states, including the hierarchy of the Church, which law has been loath to enter, badly policed neighborhoods, nineteenth century American slavery, and early twentieth century patriarchal marriages. One lesson of much of this fiction is that these lawless dystopias not only leave their inhabitants with nasty, brutish and short lives, but also truncate their capacities for empathy and community.

Keywords: law and literature, rule of law, jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

West, Robin L., Law’s Sentiments (June 29, 2020). Robin West, Law’s Sentiments, in Edward Elgar Research Handbook on Law and Emotion (Susan A. Bandes, Jody Lynee Madeira, Kathryn Temple and Emily Kidd White eds. 2020, Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3638171 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3638171

Robin L. West (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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