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Acts of Hope : Creating Authority in Literature, Law and Politics - James Boyd White

Acts of Hope

Creating Authority in Literature, Law and Politics

Hardcover Published: 15th November 1994
ISBN: 9780226895109
Number Of Pages: 368

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To which institutions or social practices should we grant authority? When should we instead assert our own sense of what is right or good or necessary?
In this book, James Boyd White shows how texts by some of our most important thinkers and writers--including Plato, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Mandela, and Lincoln--answer these questions, not in the abstract, but in the way they wrestle with the claims of the world and self in particular historical and cultural contexts. As they define afresh the institutions or practices for which they claim (or resist) authority, they create authorities of their own, in the very modes of thought and expression they employ. They imagine their world anew and transform the languages that give it meaning.
In so doing, White maintains, these works teach us about how to read and judge claims of authority made by others upon us; how to decide to which institutions and practices we should grant authority; and how to create authorities of our own through our thoughts and arguments. Elegant and accessible, this book will appeal to anyone wanting to better understand one of the primary processes of our social and political lives.

Preface
Acknowledgments
The Claims of the World on the Self, the Self on the World
Plato's Crito: The Authority of Law and Philosophy
Creating a Public World
Shakespeare's Richard II: Imagining the Modern World
Hooker's Preface to the Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie: Constituting Authority in Argument
Hale's "Considerations Touching the Amendment or Alteration of Lawes": Determining the Authority of the Past
Planned Parenthood v. CASEY: Legal Judgment as an Ethical and Cultural Art
The Authority of the Self
Austen's Mansfield Park: Making the Self Out of├╣and Against├╣the Culture
Dickinson's Poetry: Transforming the Authority of Language
Reconstituting Self and World: The Creation of Authority as an Act of Hope
Mandela's Speech from the Dock and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address: Giving Meaning to Life in an Unjust World
Afterword
Additional Notes
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226895109
ISBN-10: 0226895106
Series: Negro American Biographies and Autobiographies Ser.
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 15th November 1994
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.61

Earn 219 Qantas Points
on this Book