Amici curiae: Lawful Manhood and Other Juristic Performances in Renaissance England

  • Peter Goodrich
Part of the Language, Discourse, Society book series (LDS)


In the course of a discussion of the ethics of friendship, Jacques Derrida makes a curious and seemingly offhand remark: ‘One has no friendship for law.’1 His immediate point is that the classical teneritas amicitiae or fondness of friendship has no place in law. Friendship is a relation to a person, law administers things. Within the Western tradition, and specifically within the scholastic and highly legalistic doctrine of friendship that we inherit from a Latinate past, it is secrecy and subjectivity that make the bond of friendship and it is precisely that subjective bond that must be given up by all who enter the portals of law. In a paradoxical sense, it has long been the case and continues to be the case that the ideal-type of the lawyer is that of someone estranged from both friendship and personhood. The lawyer acts for persons, persons speak through or are represented by lawyers, but the fate of the advocate or orator, of Nietzsche’s epigone, the filing clerk, the jurist, is that they are friendless, that at root they are alone.


Public Sphere Nicomachean Ethic Legal Tradition Legal Subject Lawful Manhood 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

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  • Peter Goodrich

There are no affiliations available

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