Metaphors of justice. A mathematical-musical image in Jean Bodin (1576)

14 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2023

See all articles by Adolfo Giuliani

Adolfo Giuliani

2020-22 Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory

Date Written: July 1, 2009

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Giuliani, Adolfo, Metaphors of justice. A mathematical-musical image in Jean Bodin (1576) (July 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4335137 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4335137

Adolfo Giuliani (Contact Author)

2020-22 Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory ( email )

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