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About Ward Farnsworth
Farnsworth is the author of books on law, philosophy, rhetoric, and chess. He also has published scholarly articles on the economic analysis of law, constitutional law, statutory interpretation, jurisprudence, and cognitive psychology. He serves as Reporter for the American Law Institute's Restatement Third, Torts: Liability for Economic Harm.
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“Farnsworth beautifully integrates his own observations with scores of quotations from Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Montaigne and others. This isn’t just a book to read—it’s a book to return to, a book that will provide perspective and consolation at times of heartbreak or calamity.”—The Washington Post
See more clearly, live more wisely, and bear the burdens of this life with greater ease—here are the greatest insights of the Stoics, in their own words. Presented in twelve lessons, Ward Farnsworth systematically presents the heart of Stoic philosophy accompanied by commentary that is clear and concise.
A foundational idea to Stoicism is that we appear to go through life reacting directly to events. That appearance is an illusion. We react to our judgments and opinions—to our thoughts about things, not to things themselves. Stoics seek to become conscious of those judgments, to find the irrationality in them, and to choose them more carefully.
In chapters including Emotion, Adversity, Virtue, and What Others Think, here is the most valuable wisdom about living a good life from ages past—now made available for our time.
“An original and absorbing guide to English style. Get it if you can.”—Wall Street Journal
Say it with style—on paper or in person. This book explains why the best writing sounds that way, with hundreds of examples from Lincoln, Churchill, Douglass, and other masters of the language. As Farnsworth says, “Explaining a precept may take just a few words, but only examples can make it familiar to the ear. So we will consider examples from writers and orators who all have lessons to teach.”
Farnsworth shows how small choices about words, sentences, and paragraphs put force into writing and speech that have stood the test of time. What was the secret? Knowledge of choices in the selection of words, the arrangement of sentences, the creation of a cadence. Now that knowledge can be yours through hundreds of examples of the very best use of rhetorical devices, classical cadence patterns, hyperbole and much more.
This is must for anyone who wants to speak or write with clear, persuasive, enjoyable, unforgettable style. “A storehouse of effective writing, showing the techniques you may freely adapt to make music of your own.”—The Baltimore Sun
There are two kinds of knowledge law school teaches: legal rules on the one hand, and tools for thinking about legal problems on the other. Although the tools are far more interesting and useful than the rules, they tend to be neglected in favor of other aspects of the curriculum. In The Legal Analyst, Ward Farnsworth brings together in one place all of the most powerful of those tools for thinking about law.
From classic ideas in game theory such as the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” and the “Stag Hunt” to psychological principles such as hindsight bias and framing effects, from ideas in jurisprudence such as the slippery slope to more than two dozen other such principles, Farnsworth’s guide leads readers through the fascinating world of legal thought. Each chapter introduces a single tool and shows how it can be used to solve different types of problems. The explanations are written in clear, lively language and illustrated with a wide range of examples.
The Legal Analyst is an indispensable user’s manual for law students, experienced practitioners seeking a one-stop guide to legal principles, or anyone else with an interest in the law.
“I must refrain from shouting what a brilliant work this is (præteritio). Farnsworth has written the book as he ought to have written it – and as only he could have written it (symploce). Buy it and read it – buy it and read it (epimone).”—Bryan A. Garner, Garner's Modern English Usage
Everyone speaks and writes in patterns. Farnsworth is your guide to patterns known as rhetorical figures that can make your words more emphatic, memorable, and effective. This book details the timeless principles of rhetoric from Ancient Greece to the present day, drawing on examples in the English language of consummate masters of prose, such as Lincoln, Churchill, Dickens, Melville, and Burke.
Most rhetorical figures amount to departures from simple and literal statement, such as repeating words, putting words into an unexpected order, leaving out words that might have been expected, asking questions and then answering them. All apply to the composition of a simple sentence or paragraph—repetition and variety, suspense and relief, concealment and surprise, the creation of expectations and then the satisfaction or frustration of them. Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric is for anyone who wants to be a better speaker or writer.
A metaphor compares two things that seem unalike. Lincoln was a master of the art (A house divided against itself cannot stand). So were Jefferson (The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants) and Shakespeare (All the world’s a stage/And all the men and women merely players). Farnsworth’s book is the finest collection of such figurative comparisons ever assembled. It offers an original analysis of patterns in the sources and uses of metaphor. It also explains the different stylistic ways that comparisons can be written, and with what effects.
The book starts by dividing the sources of metaphor into families, including nature, architecture, animals, and myth. It then shows how the best writers have put each of those traditions to distinctive use-for the sake of caricature, to make an abstract idea visible, to make a complicated idea simple. The book provides, along the way, an extraordinarily wide-ranging tour of examples from novelists, playwrights, philosophers, and orators. There is interest, instruction, and amusement to be found on every page.
Ward Farnsworth-lawyer, dean, teacher, and polymath-has produced another indispensable book for the writer. Classical English Metaphor will be a constant source of learning and enjoyment for anyone who appreciates the art of observation and the pleasure of well-chosen words.
In Restitution, Ward Farnsworth presents a guide to this body of law that is compact, lively, and insightful—the first treatment of its kind that the American law of restitution has received. The book explains restitution doctrines, remedies, and defenses with unprecedented clarity and illustrates them with vivid examples. Farnsworth demonstrates that the law of restitution is guided by a manageable and coherent set of principles that have remarkable versatility and power. Restitution makes a complex and important area of law accessible, understandable, and interesting to any reader.