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53 Mercer Law Review 1035 (2002)


Speech remakes the world through a relationship among words, speaker, and hearer. On one hand, this view of the human encounter as essentially rhetorical precludes an understanding of speech as purely subjectivist or emotivist self-expression. On the other hand, this same view of human speech interaction precludes the understanding of speech acts as mere descriptions of previously discovered or reasoned truth, either empirical or abstract. Professor White reaffirms this triad among words, speaker, and hearer with what he has identified as the “deeply reciprocal” dynamic of language. Professor Brueggemann also describes the speech acts between Moses, Abraham, and their God as community-constituted and relational. The author returns the discussion of this triadic relationship among words, speaker, and hearer. For now, however, she asks the reader to take the “we” language, what Professor Brueggemann has elsewhere termed testimonial, as an invitation to hear what has happened, and what is truth in a legal controversy.