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Dialectical Jurisprudence: Aristotle and the Concept of Law


Western law, culture, and philosophy thought that they were saying goodbye to Aristotle as they entered into modernity, only now to find the ancient philosopher standing in wait as they leave modernity and enter into post-modernity. But what use do we have for Aristotle at this time? He can perform a valuable service for us — he offers a therapy for the "bipolar disorder" in contemporary jurisprudence and philosophy. This disorder is manifested in the widespread tendency to approach and analyze philosophical topics as dueling dichotomies, incapable of resolution or reconciliation. It is all too often assumed at the outset that one is faced with a stark either/or sort of choice between alternatives, so participants in the philosophical debates arising out of this approach typically take one side of the dichotomy and see it as their task to marginalize and diminish the other side of the dichotomy.