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Topics and Law

A contribution to Basic Research in Law-Translated with a forword by W. Cole Durham, Jr.

Eva-Maria Viehweg

Theodor Viehweg's classic, Topics and Law, pioneered the renaissance of law and rhetoric that began in the 1950's and has extended down to the present. The book contrasts the deductive systematic intellectuality that has been influential since Descartes, and the more contextual, problemoriented style inherited from classical rhetoric. It then argues, on the basis of examples drawn from two millenia of legal history, that the rhetorical or topical approach is more apt for law. Experienced on the Continent as a major critique of civilian methodology, the book should find even readier acceptance among the philosophers, comparatists, and practitioners of the common law tradition, which has always adhered to its problem-oriented and rhetorical roots.
Contents: Translator's Foreword - Topics and Legal Rhetoric - Topics in Aristotle, Cicero, and Vico - The Topical Approach in Roman, Medieval and Contemporary Law - Topics and Problem Orientation in Law.