The Cognitive Dimension of the Agon Between Legal Power and Narrative Meaning

In Part II, I first provide a brief description of what we are learning about the grounded and imaginative nature of the cognitive process. I then elaborate the cognitive structure of the concept narrative and consider the manner in which we employ that concept in recognizing, understanding, and constructing narratives of all types – from folktales like the midrash to avant-garde literature like Waiting for Godot. In Part III, I employ this information about the cognitive and narrative processes to explore the secondary role of narrative in the institutionalization of legal and social meaning. I will identify the cognitive construct that does act as the medium of institutionalized social meaning and discuss its relation to, and constraint upon, legal narrative. This explanation will involve a reconsideration and revisionist account of Karl Llewellyn’s concept of “situation-sense.” In Part IV, I describe the cognitive dimension of the process by which narrative functions as a means of persuasion and discuss its use by legal advocates. I close with a brief discussion of how narrative can be a transformative device for the disempowered and those seeking to change the legal and social status quo.