Thinking about Law: In Silence with Heidegger
What calls for thinking about law? What does it mean to think about law? What is aboutness? Could it be that law, in its essence, has not yet been thought about? In exploring these questions, this book offers a close reading of Heidegger's thought, especially his later poetical writings. Heidegger's transformation of the very notion and process of thinking has destabilising implications for the formation of any theory of law, however critical this theory may be.
This transformation of thinking also affects the notions of ethics and morality and the manner in which law relates to them. Oren Ben-Dor's new work explores interpretations of Heidegger's unique understanding of notions such as 'essence', 'thinking', 'language', 'truth', and 'nearness', suggesting that the essence of law has not yet been thought about, and asking what generates deafness to the call for such thinking, thereby entrenching a refuge for legalism?
The ambit of the legal is traced to Levinasian ethics, especially to his notion of otherness, despite such a notion being apparently highly critical of the totality of the legal. In entrenching the legal, Levinas' notion of otherness is argued not to reflect thinking which is otherwise than ontology but rather to radicalise a derivative ontology. A call for thinking about law is then connected to Heideggerian ontologically-based otherness upon which ethics, one which the essence of law enforces, is grounded.