1887

n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die afwesige gees in die regswetenskap - : navorsings- en oorsigartikel

Volume 52, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0041-4751

Abstract

Die reg se omgang met die menslike gees is 'n ongemaklike een. Die artikel toon aan hoedat die omvattende invloed van dualisme en positivisme op die regswetenskap 'n verarmde en reduksionistiese geestesbegrip, oftewel 'n toestand van totale geestesafwesigheid, tot gevolg het. 'n Bespreking van enkele postapartheid-regsbenaderings dui op maniere waarop die reg anders bedink kan word en hoe daar op 'n ander wyse met die reg omgegaan kan word. Deur onder andere benaderings wat "slowness" tot die reg en regsinterpretasie omarm, wat die grondwet as gedenkwaardigheid eerder as monument bedink en wat die oorheersende aard van die reg weier, kan daar 'n gaping vir die afwesige gees geskep word. In navolging van Adriana Cavarero se lees van Penelope, kan 'n stadige ritme van weef en ontrafel die komplekse verhouding tussen die reg en die ideaal, die reg en die gees op die voorgrond bring.


The law's reflection of the human mind is an uneasy and conflicting one. By tracing the influence of dualism and positivism on constructions relating to the mind in certain areas of the law, such as criminal law and private law, the article illustrates how, over time, these influences have contributed to a reductionist and impoverished conception of the human mind, culminating in a total absence of the mind in legal thinking generally. The fiction of the individual as an autonomous and rational agent that has dominated legal thinking since the time of the Enlightenment is in conflict with recent cognitive research that emphasises the notion of an embodied mind. However, as the article reveals, this approach, supported by lawyers and cognitive neuroscientists of the Project on the Law and the Mind Sciences of Harvard University, is in fact yet another reductionist and dualist one which perceives the brain and the mind as one. The article next turns to a discussion of selected postapartheid legal approaches that point to other ways of thinking and doing law. By relying on approaches that favour "slowness" in respect of legal thinking and interpretation - which perceive the Constitution as memorial instead of monument and which refuse the dominating nature of law - space for the absent and negated mind may open up. Following Adriana Cavarero's reading of Penelope, the slow rhythm of weaving and unweaving may bring the complex relationship between the law and the ideal, and the law and the mind, to the fore. The type of law and legal approach that may result from this "slowness" and "refusal", as one of the authors argues, is a law of reflection; a law that refuses thoughtless (instrumental) accounts. In the final instance, the article suggests that the mind's place in the law is not the context of the abstract or ideal, or the material and empirical, but an in-between, liminal space.

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/content/akgees/52/1/EJC20274
2012-03-01
2019-12-11

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