Thursday, June 23, 2016

145. Gestalt in Law (Part One)

Gestalt is generally associated with psychology and the arts. The mind forms a whole and has tendency to organize what it perceives as parts into a whole. In  the arts, if you draw half a face, the mind recognizes it as a face, even if what is drawn is just an eye, half a nose, or half a  mouth. The mind concludes that this collection of face parts is actually a face. The sum is another of the parts. How does this relate to law? Gestalt is probably the only way at looking at the law  and how it operates in real life without going crazy. The serious anomalies in the practice of law (or should we say, "malpractice of it", to be more accurate?) is better understood if we accept that following the law is just part of the story. The innocent landing in jail, the guilty getting off scot-free, the rich getting a windfall, the poor losing what is left of them -- these law events do not tell the complete story. Law and other abstractions from reality cannot explain everything. Injustice is unacceptable but gestalt, the sum of all parts, can help us appreciate that what is written, uttered, and recorded in the annals of law have an underlying story that has been barely scratched and exposed. 

Let's get an example from a famous trial in history. 

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