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Conference Paper

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Roderick A. Macdonald


Text of introductory address to symposium The Unbounded Level of the Mind: Rod Macdonald's Legal Imagination, held at McGill University's Faculty of Law, February 7-8, 2014. The author expresses his admiration and affection for Prof Maconald, taking as his clue something he says frequently and in various formulations: “The very idea of law [he says] must be autobiographical”. [Roderick A. Macdonald & Martha-Marie Kleinhans, "What is a Critical Legal Pluralism?" Canadian Journal of Law and Society , 12 (1997), 25-46, 46]. Quote: "If that’s true, then the “very idea” of Rod himself must be “autobiographical”. I’m therefore going to begin our symposium by sharing my autobiographical — and consequently idiosyncratic — idea of Rod and his work. This idea has been shaped by our many encounters over some four decades. It may not accord with your idea of Rod’s scholarship or, for that matter, with his. However, as Rod himself strongly advocates “pluralizing the legal subject”, it will be interesting to see what happens when we put his theory into practice."