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Retorica, diritto e scienza sociale
Author/s: Valentino Petrucci 
Year:  2000 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  11 FullText PDF:  63 KB

The author takes issue with the widespread assumption that Rhetoric (arbitrarily reduced to its least important component, the mere elocutio) has been outdated by the scientific knowledge that has been assembled ever since Descartes and his search for "clear and distinct ideas". Analysing the history of rhetoric (the "rhetorical empire", as it was dubbed by Roland Barthes, that informed Western culture from Aristotle to Napoleon III), the essay highlights the influence exerted by the "art of rhetoric" on the world of the social sciences and of law. If it is true that the judge does not seek any improbable absolute truth, but actually decides a controversy (Perelman), i.e. chooses between opposing arguments, then the decision of law derives from "a struggle between advocates" and rhetoric is thus an essential component of legal life.

Valentino Petrucci, in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL DIRITTO " 2/2000, pp. , DOI:


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