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Prelude to the Cabinet of Imaginary Laws

Goodrich, Peter and Zartaloudis, Thanos (2021) Prelude to the Cabinet of Imaginary Laws. In: Zartaloudis, Thanos and Goodrich, Peter, eds. The Cabinet of Imaginary Laws. Discourses of Law . Routledge, London, pp. 1-12. ISBN 978-0-367-56658-6. E-ISBN 978-1-00-309882-9. (doi:10.4324/9781003098829-1) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:93883)

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The seed for The Cabinet of Imaginary Laws was first sensed when I was teaching some law students about the complexity of the “art” of legal drafting as an aside to a doctrinal course. It was then, mutually, realised that the students were finding it very difficult to draft, as well as to reflect on drafting. They were of course literate, well-read in the law and earnest, but something else was missing. After setting the technical aspects of drafting aside, one of the things that became apparent in later conversation was that they could not “see” or “imagine” new, let alone, “better” laws. They pointed me to the imagination in this context and I immediately felt that this was not an accidental but a rather fundamental political problem. But there was more to it, as I would discover when we set out to explore this further. In one sense, the problem of the imagination, if it ever was a “problem”, was always, it seems, a political problem with education. I mean, a problem essentially of the city, and the city in my thinking is always a striving, educated and educating city or it is not at all. After all, is it not the case that the coming together of the citizens in the polis required a primary, even if undisclosed, act of imagination? For how else would the polis bring together those who have nothing in common other than through an imaginary construction? Hence, the theatre for the Greeks. But the theatre and the polis were also more than political problems themselves, for they had to reconfigure what was invisible as a now visible stage or agora. In an ideal world, a bit like a book needs to do as well. And it was through this engagement with the students that it felt to me as if the imagination had something to do with, first of all, what we could call the visibility of what remains unseen, or as the philosopher says, the indication of the existence of the possible. It was after sharing this experience with you xviiithat we were led to install ourselves upon a peculiar ambition towards what became eventually The Cabinet of Imaginary Laws.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.4324/9781003098829-1
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
K Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Thanos Zartaloudis
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2022 13:10 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2022 14:11 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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