Oedipus Lex: Psychoanalysis, History, Law

Oedipus Lex: Psychoanalysis, History, Law



Professor Peter Goodrich's book Oedipus Lex was re-published by University of California Press as part of a series of “Voices Revived.”

Oedipus Lex offers an original and evocative reading of legal history and institutional practice in the light of psychoanalysis and aesthetics. It explores the unconscious of law through a wealth of historical and contemporary examples. Peter Goodrich provides an anatomy of law's melancholy and boredom, of addiction to law, of legal repressions, and the aesthetics of jurisprudence. He retraces the genealogy of law and invokes the failures and exclusions—the poets, women, and outsiders—that legal science has left in its wake.

Goodrich analyzes the role and power of the image of law and details the history of law's plural jurisdictions and traditions of resistance to law. He explores mechanisms of repression and representation as constituents of modern subjectivity, using long-abandoned medieval texts and early appearances of feminism as resources for the understanding and renewal of legal scholarship. Not simply deconstruction but also reconstruction, this work is keenly attuned to the discontinuties, silences, and gaps in the cultural tradition called law.

This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1995.



Publication Date



University of California Press


Ethics and Political Philosophy | Jurisprudence | Law | Legal History | Philosophy | Political Science | Sociology

Oedipus Lex: Psychoanalysis, History, Law