Ethical Perspectives 13 (3):331-357 (2006)

This issue is a special investigation into phenomenology of law through the thought of Bernard Waldenfels. Waldenfels, who is presently emeritus professor of philosophy at Ruhr Universität, Bochum, has made a name for himself in his own research and publications on the nexus surrounding the other as non-phenomenon, language as response, and the fissures of corporeality.Along side his expansive introduction and own separate article, guest editor Bert van Roermund has collected together six outstanding contributions to this ‘Waldenfeldian’ phenomenology of law.Waldenfels himself kicks of this number with an original article outlining his conception of the legal order within a phenomenology of the other. Arguing that the legal order, like all orders, must have its own particular ‘outside’ or ‘unsaid,’ he investigates the critical perspectives that thus emerge.Then, David Janssens takes up Waldenfels’ treatment of Plato, which Janssens approaches through a Socratic investigation into the aporias at the foundation of the Platonic legal order. Waldenfels’ Plato seems rather Socratic in his confrontation of the reader with alterity.Next, William Conklin offers an in-depth investigation into the question as to how can human rights be considered universal by the very tribunals that also grant nations the right to define those who may legally be considered persons? Waldenfels’s notion of territorial structure offers its apparatus to Conklin’s substantial critique.Petra Gehring goes into the phenomenological theory of law, looking the ability of the law as an order to respond to claims of the alien. Claiming that law in fact is unable to respond, Gehring argues that phenomenology should legal phenomena critically as a problem of order within the double nature of what Waldenfels calls Anspruch and Antwort.Hans Lindahl analyzes the spatio-temporal borders of the European Union to lay bare the genesis of the Community’s legal order. Lindahl reveals this genesis to embody Waldenfels’ notion of the “chiasm of strangeness,” wherein the foundation of a Heimwelt simultaneously generates a Fremdwelt, and thus questions the very ability of Europe to be its own place.Finally, guest-editor Bert van Roermund supplements his introduction with yet another original contribution arguing that modern legislation is self-legislation. Attempting to identify the different voices comprising this self in an analytical scheme he terms [LEX], van Roermund borrows from Waldenfel’s notion of response and alterity in his analysis of how this structure responds to the classical notion of justice for every subject
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DOI 10.2143/EP.13.3.2017779
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