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Copyright (c) 1992 Fordham Law Review
Fordham Law Review

ARTICLE: THE VALUE OF FRIENDSHIP IN LAW AND LITERATURE.

March, 1992

60 Fordham L. Rev. 645

Author

MICHAEL J. KAUFMAN +

Excerpt

THE language of antinomies, 1 contradictions, 2 and deconstruction 3 floods the landscape of legal, philosophic, and literary discourse. 4 The currents challenge not only traditional value structures, but also the human effort to erect those structures. 5 Thus far, the backlash has been strong only in its rhetoric. 6 If deconstruction does expose irreconcilable contradictions in our systems of value, however, then rhetoric alone cannot reconstruct those systems. Instead, the reconstruction of values in the wake of deconstruction's erosive impact must be accomplished by accepting, rather than rejecting, its fundamental tenets. This Article develops a strategy for the reconstruction of the particular value of friendship. Once thought to be indispensable to the good life, friendship is now absent from most meaningful discourse. 7 Its resurrection requires more than a leap of faith.

The first step in the strategy of resurrecting the value of friendship is tracing its decline. This Article begins by charting that decline in literature, philosophy, and law. It shows that American law in particular has exploited the language of friendship, while debasing the value of friendship. Friendship apparently has no place in a legal system based upon a fundamental contradiction between the individual and the community.

Part II begins the effort to return friendship to that legal system by redefining friendship. In an epoch in which all distinctions between law, literature, and philosophy have been collapsed, the analysis of legal issues necessarily involves issues of literature, and philosophy. This ...
 
 
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