What do different concepts like true lie, bad luck, honest thief, old news, spacetime, glocalization, symplexity, sustainable development, constant change, soft law, substantive due process, pure law, bureaucratic efficiency and global justice have in common? What connections do they share with innumerable paradoxes, like the ones of happiness, time, globalization, sex, and of free will and fate?
Law in the Time of Oxymora provides answers to these conundrums by critically comparing the apparent rise in recent years of the use of rhetorical figures called "essentially oxymoronic concepts" (i.e. oxymoron, enantiosis and paradoxes) in the areas of art, science and law. Albeit to varying degrees, these concepts share the quality of giving expression to apparent contradictions. Through this quality, they also challenge the scientific paradigm rooted in the dualistic thinking and binary logic that is traditionally used in the West, as opposed to the East, where a paradoxical mode of thinking and fuzzy logic is said to have been cultivated.
Following a review of oxymora and paradoxes in art and various scientific writings, hundreds of "hard cases" featuring oxymora and a comprehensive review of the legal literature are discussed, revealing evidence suggesting that the present scientific paradigm of dualism alone will no longer be able to tackle the challenges arising from increasing diversity and complexity coupled with an apparent acceleration of change. Law in the Time of Oxymora reaches the surprising conclusion that essentially oxymoronic concepts may inaugurate a new era of cognition, involving the ways the senses interact and how we reason, think and make decisions in law and in life.
(Subjects: Law and Language; Oxymoronic Concepts; Cognition and Law)