Metaphors are not pretty figures of speech; they affect the way people within cultures perceive reality. It is therefore significant that the metaphors most commonly used for the adversary system center on war and sports. This tends to over-emphasize the competitive aspects of litigation and disguise opportunities for more cooperative behavior. This article collects and analyzes those metaphors, and discusses the reasons for their powerful hold on legal culture. It also considers some of the negative effects of the metaphorical system and speculates about whether we could find and nurture alternative metaphors.
Wisconsin Women's Law Journal
adversary system, metaphor, war, sports, sex, ethics, battle
Metaphors Matter: How Images of Battle, Sports, and Sex Shape the Adversary System, 10 Wis. Women's L.J. 225 (1995)