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76 Md. L. Rev. 663 (2016-2017)
Neurorhetoric, Race, and the Law: Toxic Neural Pathways and Healing Alternatives

handle is hein.journals/mllr76 and id is 681 raw text is: 






  NEURORHETORIC, RACE, AND THE LAW: TOXIC NEURAL
           PATHWAYS AND HEALING ALTERNATIVES

                             LUCY  JEWEL*

INTRODUCTION
     Persuasion happens in both the brain and the body. Departing from a
Cartesian view of rationality, neuroscience explains that the mind and the
body are highly integrated. It is a fallacy to believe that we engage with ar-
guments  in an abstract, analytical, and unemotional fashion. Instead, neu-
roscience explains that when rhetoric influences us, it does so in an embod-
ied way,  triggering electrochemical  reactions that traverse our neural
pathways,  beyond  the purview  of our  conscious thought.   Although  it
sounds like a science fiction concept, the biological and embodied nature of
rhetoric is in line with the beliefs of the ancient Sophists, who understood
rhetoric to have the same kind of effect on the brain as a drug. This ancient
understanding, that rhetoric can infiltrate the human body, is another in-
stance where ancient knowledge aligns with modem  scientific theory.'
     Neurorhetoric is the study of how rhetoric shapes the human brain. At
the forefront of science and communication studies, neurorhetoric challeng-
es many  preconceptions about how  humans  respond  to persuasive stimuli.
Neurorhetoric can be  applied to a multiplicity of relevant legal issues, in-
cluding the topic of this Symposium Issue: race and advocacy. After detail-
ing the neuroscientific and cognitive theories that underlie neurorhetoric,
this Essay theorizes ways in which  neurorhetoric intersects with the law,
advocacy,  and race. This Essay explores how  toxic racial stereotypes and
categories become  embedded   in the human  brain and  what can  be done
about it.
     This Essay, which examines the way  that language creates thought pat-
terns that can become collectively entrenched, is especially relevant in our
extremely  divisive political age. For instance, President Donald Trump's
campaign  drew upon  negative stereotypes about minorities by crafting an us




C 2017 Lucy Jewel.
    * Associate Professor of Law, University of Tennessee College of Law.
    1. See Lucille A. Jewel, Old-School Rhetoric and New-School Cognitive Science: The En-
during Power ofLogocentric Categories, 13 LEGAL COMM. & RHETORIC 39, 40-42 (2016) (posit-
ing that ancient wisdom concerning effective argumentation is supported by modem scientific un-
derstandings of human information processing).


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