Category Archives: Philosophy

Review of Finding Law (part 3)

We have been commenting on Professor Stephen Sachs’s scholarly paper “Finding Law.” In brief, we agree with Sachs that law does not have to written down to be “law.” But as we explained in our previous post, we disagree with … Continue reading

Posted in Law, Philosophy, Probability | Leave a comment

Whose meaning? (reply to Solum, part 2)

Note: this is the second in a series of blog posts responding to Larry Solum’s defense of public meaning originalism. In his statement in support of Judge Gorsuch, our friend and colleague Larry Solum identifies four myths or misconceptions about … Continue reading

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, History, Law, Philosophy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The problem with so-called public meaning originalism

President Trump’s nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court has reignited the longstanding constitutional battle between defenders of the Living Constitution and backers of Originalism. (If this never-ending normative debate were a baseball game, it would be in the 57th … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Bayesian Reasoning, Current Affairs, History, Law, Philosophy, Politics | 4 Comments

Self-correcting contracts?

Note: This is the fourth of six blog posts in which we review Nate Oman’s new book The Dignity of Commerce: Markets and the Moral Foundation of Contract Law. After tackling the legal doctrine of consideration in Chapter 5 (see … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Ethics, Law, Literature, Philosophy | 1 Comment

Visualizing the syllabus

Why are most college syllabi such drab and dreary affairs? By contrast, Chia-Hua Lin, a PhD student in philosophy at the University of South Carolina, has created a beautiful visual syllabus (see below) for her applied ethics course on “Genetic … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Philosophy | 3 Comments

What are the most important unsolved problems in law?

Hola! This intriguing post by our blogging colleague and philosophical friend Tyler Cowen (asking about unsolved problems in economics) got us thinking about unsolved problems in the domain of law. But does it make any sense to talk about soluble … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Economics, Law, Philosophy | 4 Comments

In defense of the bad man theory of law

What is “law”? In a forthcoming essay, Brian Leiter provides an excellent summary of H.L.A. Hart’s influential legal positivist theory of law. (The cover of his classic tome, “The Concept of Law”, is pictured below.) In particular, Professor Leiter, who teaches … Continue reading

Posted in Law, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Is price-gouging immoral?

Gregory Mankiw, an economics professor at Harvard, wrote this ringing economic defense of ticket scalping and price-gouging generally. In his essay, Prof Mankiw revisits the laws of supply and demand from his Econ 101 course to explain why he was more than happy to … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Law, Philosophy | 4 Comments

Necessity as a conjecture (post 5 of 5)

In our previous post (9/6), we referred to the work of legal scholar Giorgio Agamben, and we presented our own pragmatic or “common sense” view of the doctrine of necessity: necessity as a safety valve or gap-filling device for unforeseeable or … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Law, Philosophy | 1 Comment

Necessity: a third view

Note: this is the fourth of five posts on the doctrine of necessity. In our previous posts (9/1, 9/4, and 9/5), we referred to the work of legal scholar Giorgio Agamben (in particular, his beautiful book State of Exception), and … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Law, Philosophy | 2 Comments