REASON AS THE DARK SIDE OF THE LAW: A LEIBNIZIAN PERSPECTIVE
Authors: Ayahyaoui Krivenko Ekaterina
The article argues that reason as the hallmark of Western civilisation can indeed be considered as the dark side of law. The perspective adopted focuses on the thought of the seventeenth-century philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and compares it to some contemporary developments. Reinterpreting Leibniz’s idea of justice and its relationship to law, the article argues that according to Leibniz ‘good’ law reflecting his idea of justice as the charity of the wise has to be based on three values: reason, love, and action. In other words, it has to unite within itself a cognitive/epistemological element with an affective and a practical element. However, the contemporary form of law dominant in the global North largely neglects Leibnizian insights: the contemporary dominant vision of law represents and promotes law as reasonable only. Reasonableness and objectivity of law are even its main hallmarks. The affective side of law is largely neglected. According to Leibniz, law which is devoid of its affective side is unable to fulfil or even attempt to fulfil its promise of justice. Thus, law as reason exclusively is condemned to darkness. The article argues that these Leibnizian insights are very contemporary and resonate with the latest developments in the law and emotions scholarship. Therefore, the article concludes, law and emotion scholarship could benefit from a deeper engagement with Leibniz’s thought.
Keywords: Leibniz - Law, Justice, Reason, Affect