The distinguished literary scholar Stanley Fish can teach one a great deal about argumentation. Lacking a law degree, he has also served on law faculties and even as an assistant dean in the Duke Law School. What business does this academic superstar, portrayed as lusty professor Morris Zapp in a David Lodge novel and derided by Camille Paglia as a “totalitarian Tinker Bell,” have teaching law?
I have seen this man of the political left outrage and delight audiences at scholarly conferences and venues, including a Federalist Society convention. A friend also reported to me that Fish once asked him the difference between a West and an East coast Straussian, and, upon hearing a brief explanation, Fish declared himself to be a West coast one. (See comment 2 below.) That is, I infer, Fish agreed with these Declaration of Independence conservatives on the vital importance of the political context for establishing the meaning of a text.