Metaphors of justice. A mathematical-musical image in Jean Bodin (1576)
14 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2023
Date Written: July 1, 2009
The connection between law and music is intuitive, but difficult to explain.
The argument offered by this paper is that music supplies a set of images that law, given its limited lexicon, lacks. Music, in this view, is a cognitive metaphor which allows legal science to use one conceptual domain (music) to reason about another (law).
This was the case in 16th century discussions of judicial equity in France. The distrust of judicial discretion pushed to the currency of powerful images of decision-making expressed in musical-mathematical terms.
Keywords: law and music, music theory, judicial discretion, equity, legal history
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