The legal imagination
Del Mar (Maksymilian)
Source: Aeon, 28 March, 2017
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Conclusion

  1. Overall, imagining is a mode of enquiry into what might matter – a collective, interactive investigation of what might be at stake in some dispute or issue. Fictions, metaphors, hypothetical narratives and multiple perspectives are hugely helpful because they each generate a different set of possibilities. These devices are what make legal reasoning so resourceful and ingenious, because they are inherently tentative and experimental. Sometimes, this form of communication involves pretence and make-believe; at other times, quirky juxtapositions – of trees and constitutions, or of customs and crystals.
  2. The faculty of imagination, then, is not just about engaging in flights of fancy. It can prompt and move us, but it’s also vital as a tool that allows us to slow down, to distance ourselves from our own habits and conventions, and to let others into the conversation. Imagination as enquiry might be our best bet against the dangers of thoughtlessness, present now more than ever.


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