philosophy, an explanation about the constitution of reality. The thesis is that reality is made of methods ( lnt\|d ó r , “over the path”, “on the path”), etymologically and literally, the path taken. In other words, the material rhe- toric is the whole of the victorious methods, the narratives chosen among the several possible and concurring accounts in a given event. The material rhetoric is normative, prescriptive, to the extent that it is made of options before alternatives. Strictly spea- king, the human world is always normative, for even empirical discourses aim to win and constitute the environment, but there is a distinction in attitude, by the transitory engaging of interests. The decisions of the law are very important in the determination of this victorious discourse that constitutes the material rhetoric because they induce people to behave in a certain manner and threaten them with harmful consequences if they persist in affirming reports contrary to those decisions, although this possibility is always pre- sent. A legal fact is thus a discourse that seeks to express a certain perception of a given eventual context. And the legal proceedings, like children playing telephone, consist of chains of narratives about other narratives. This is how law strongly contributes to “make realities”; the version of the law is very likely to become a winning version. There we see how the real world is at the same time an empirical and a linguistic phe- nomenon or, as preferred here, rhetorical, and how language literally fabricates the real world and the human being itself. Imagine a car crash with people badly hurt or any other legally relevant criminal event, like a drunk driver. The police elaborate a narration about what they found on the spot, the police report, in which accounts of witnesses may be included, accounts that may differ from each other, due to heterogeneous perspectives and perceptions and so on. Then the Chief of Police receives this document and composes his own narrative, the so called criminal investigation, for which he may consider it important to hear the witnesses again, who, having gone some weeks or months since the experience, will tell different stories from the ones they themselves told the police on the spot of the accident. So the criminal investigation is sent to the District Attorney, who will produce another story, the accusation or criminal charges – if she considers there is enough evidence of guilt – enriched by many other elements that were absent in the prior discourses. While the judge is elaborating his own narrative to process the indictment, after receiving the files of the case from the District Attorney, perhaps again many months later, he may well have other elements, hear witnesses, policemen, new arguments… João Maurício Adeodato 4
When there are juries, many more differences will appear in the proceedings, when witnesses, police, attorneys and lawyers will construct their versions in public.
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