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The law-and-literature movement claims to have introduced a valuable p

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The law-and-literature movement claims to have introduced a valuable p  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 09 Oct 2019, 03:25
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 142, Date : 12-APR-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


The law-and-literature movement claims to have introduced a valuable pedagogical innovation into legal study: instructing students in techniques of literary analysis for the purpose of interpreting laws and in the reciprocal use of legal analysis for the purpose of interpreting literary texts. The results, according to advocates, are not only conceptual breakthroughs in both law and literature but also more sensitive and humane lawyers. Whatever the truth of this last claim, there can be no doubt that the movement is a success: law-and-literature is an accepted subject in law journals and in leading law schools. Indeed, one indication of the movement’s strength is the fact that its most distinguished critic, Richard A. Posner, paradoxically ends up expressing qualified support for the movement in a recent study in which he systematically refutes the writings of its leading legal scholars and cooperating literary critics.

Critiquing the movement’s assumption that lawyers can offer special insights into literature that deals with legal matters, Posner points out that writers of literature use the law loosely to convey a particular idea or as a metaphor for the workings of the society envisioned in their fiction. Legal questions per se, about which a lawyer might instruct readers, are seldom at issue in literature. This is why practitioners of law-and-literature end up discussing the law itself far less than one might suppose. Movement leader James White, for example, in his discussion of arguments in the Iliad, barely touches on law, and then so generally as to render himself vulnerable to Posner’s devastating remark that “any argument can be analogized to a legal dispute.”

Similarly, the notion that literary criticism can be helpful in interpreting law is problematic. Posner argues that literary criticism in general aims at exploring richness and variety of meaning in texts, whereas legal interpretation aims at discovering a single meaning. A literary approach can thus only confuse the task of interpreting the law, especially if one adopts current fashions like deconstruction, which holds that all texts are inherently uninterpretable.

Nevertheless, Posner writes that law-and-literature is a field with “promise”. Why? Perhaps, recognizing the success of a movement that, in the past, has singled him out for abuse, he is attempting to appease his detractors, paying obeisance to the movements institutional success by declaring that it “deserves a place in legal research” while leaving it to others to draw the conclusion from his cogent analysis that it is an entirely factitious undertaking, deserving of no intellectual respect whatsoever. As a result, his work stands both as a rebuttal of law-and-literature and as a tribute to the power it has come to exercise in academic circles.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) assess the law-and-literature movement by examining the position of one of its most prominent critics
(B) assert that a mutually beneficial relationship exists between the study of law and the study of literature
(C) provide examples of the law-and-literature movement in practice by discussing the work of its proponents
(D) dismiss a prominent critics recent study of the law-and-literature movement
(E) describe the role played by literary scholars in providing a broader context for legal issues

2. Posner’s stated position with regard to the law-and-literature movement is most analogous to which one of the following?

(A) a musician who is trained in the classics but frequently plays modern music while performing on stage
(B) a partisan who transfers allegiance to a new political party that demonstrates more promise but has fewer documented accomplishments
(C) a sports fan who wholeheartedly supports the team most likely to win rather than his or her personal favorite
(D) an ideologue who remains committed to his or her own view of a subject in spite of compelling evidence to the contrary
(E) a salesperson who describes the faults in a fashionable product while conceding that it may have some value

3. The passage suggests that Posner regards legal practitioners as using an approach to interpreting law that

(A) eschews discovery of multiple meanings
(B) employs techniques like deconstruction
(C) interprets laws in light of varying community standards
(D) is informed by the positions of literary critics
(E) de-emphasizes the social relevance of the legal tradition

4. The Passage suggests that Posner might find legal training useful in the interpretation of a literary text in which

(A) a legal dispute symbolizes the relationship between two characters
(B) an oppressive law is used to symbolize an oppressive culture
(C) one of the key issues involves the answer to a legal question
(D) a legal controversy is used to represent a moral conflict
(E) the working of the legal system suggests something about the political character of a society

5. The author uses the word “success” in line 11 to refer to the law-and-literature movement’s

(A) positive effect on the sensitivity of lawyers
(B) widespread acceptance by law schools and law journals
(C) ability to offer fresh insights into literary texts
(D) ability to encourage innovative approaches in two disciplines
(E) response to recent criticism in law journals

6. According to the passage, Posner argues that legal analysis is not generally useful in interpreting literature because

(A) use of the law in literature is generally of a quite different nature than use of the law in legal practice
(B) law is rarely used to convey important ideas in literature
(C) lawyers do not have enough literary training to analyze literature competently
(D) legal interpretations of literature tend to focus on legal issues to the exclusion of other important elements
(E) legal interpretations are only relevant to contemporary literature

7. According to Posner, the primary difficulty in using literary criticism to interpret law is that

(A) the goals of the two disciplines are incompatible
(B) there are few advocates for the law-and-literature movement in the literary profession
(C) the task of interpreting law is too complex for the techniques of literary criticism
(D) the interpretation of law relies heavily on legal precedent
(E) legal scholars are reluctant to adopt the practice in the classroom



  • Source: LSAT Official PrepTest 18 (December 1992)
  • Difficulty Level: 650

Originally posted by shard87 on 03 Nov 2018, 00:17.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 09 Oct 2019, 03:25, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (882).
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New post 03 Nov 2018, 06:45
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Hello shard87 ........ This is regarding the following post made by you :https://gmatclub.com/forum/rc-challange-the-law-and-litreature-movements-280631.html

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New post 19 Dec 2018, 00:10
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7 mins ... and got 6 out of 7.

Q6 is the tricky one - D too is a strong candidate as it is mentioned that law looks at literature from a single focus and this could also be one reason why law fails to interpret literature accurately.. found hard to spot A. Any thoughts on tackling this would help.
Quote:
6. According to the passage, Posner argues that legal analysis is not generally useful in interpreting literature because

(A) use of the law in literature is generally of a quite different nature than use of the law in legal practice
(B) law is rarely used to convey important ideas in literature
(C) lawyers do not have enough literary training to analyze literature competently
(D) legal interpretations of literature tend to focus on legal issues to the exclusion of other important elements
(E) legal interpretations are only relevant to contemporary literature

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New post 05 Sep 2019, 05:22
Explanation for Q (6):

Gladiator59 wrote:
law looks at literature from a single focus

This can't be infered from the passage.

Quote:
literary criticism in general aims at exploring richness and variety of meaning in texts, whereas legal interpretation aims at discovering a single meaning.


Premise: Literary Criticism(LC)-->Various Meaning(VM).
Premise: Legal interpretation(LI)-->Single meaning(SM).
Conc: Therefore, can't use LC for LI. (Inferable)
Infering that LI looks at Literature with SM is non-inferable.

Quote:
6. According to the passage, Posner argues that legal analysis is not generally useful in interpreting literature because

This question is conerned with 2nd paragraph that deals with Legal analysis on literature.
Two things are mention in this paragraph.
1) Writers use law LOOSELY to convey an idea.
2) Legal questions are SELDOM an issue in literature.
One of these two points should be there in the options.

Gladiator59 wrote:
law fails to interpret literature accurately

It is never about law failing to interpret literature. It is about the Law used in the literature being too easy.

(A) use of the law in literature is generally of a quite different nature than use of the law in legal practice - Use of law in literature is to convey an idea(different nature) than use of law, which is to answer legal questions, in legal practive
(B) law is rarely used to convey important ideas in literature - This option says that law is RARELY used. We only know that it is LOOSELY used. Hence, incorrect.
(C) lawyers do not have enough literary training to analyze literature competently - Out of Scope
(D) legal interpretations of literature tend to focus on legal issues to the exclusion of other important elements - This says that the Legal interpretations focus only on legal things and leave out other important parts. Hence, Out of Scope.
(E) legal interpretations are only relevant to contemporary literature - Out of Scope

(A) is correct.
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New post 09 Oct 2019, 11:39
any approach for Q4...

Q6 is tricky.. i was stuck between A and E
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New post 12 Oct 2019, 09:53
How long did you guys take for the entire Passage?

Gladiator59 wrote:
7 mins ... and got 6 out of 7.


Gladiator59 is a RC legend. :o
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The law-and-literature movement claims to have introduced a valuable p   [#permalink] 12 Oct 2019, 09:53
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