Tag Archives: jurisprudence

Coase’s Conception of Production Factor Costs (and the Coasean Challenge)

Here I want to lay out Coase’s conception of production factor costs as articulated in The Problem of Social Cost.  Coase’s conception of production factor costs has very significant implications for what might be called the “Coasean Challenge”–a challenge which in my view has been … Continue reading

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Book Review (and subtext)

The recent publication of  [.......] by Professor X marks a moment in the history of [.......].  It establishes him as one of the leading, if not the leading, authority on the subject of [.......]. Professor X works at Zip Code Law … Continue reading

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Quantitative Tie-Breakers (Theory Moves)

Quantitative Tie-Breakers: [kwon-ti-tey-tiv tahy brey-kers] Noun Phrase The fundamental issue in the final stages of appellate adjudication almost always takes the form, “How can something that is inescapably two or more things at once be only just one thing.”   (Apologies to Thomas Reed Powell.)  … Continue reading

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Entry Framing (Theory Moves)

Entry Framing: [en-tree frey-ming] Noun Phrase The initial establishment in a text of a perspective, an orientation, a frame from or against which the text proceeds. Examples: An entry framing can establish a voice (“I am a spiteful man.  My liver is bad…”)   … Continue reading

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The Monty Python Example No. 3 (Analytical Philosophy in Law)

Too much of it arguably reads like this: In The Concept of Law, H.L.A. Hart once said something.  This brilliant insight (BI) effectively corrected some fundamentally wrongheaded ways of thinking.   Yet upon closer examination, BI encompasses a number of different ideas … Continue reading

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Coase and “The Problem of Social Cost” (Again)

I don’t know if other academics experience this, but I find that, in scholarship, I am drawn to certain texts or problems over and over again for reasons that remain elusive.   And so here I am again, writing yet … Continue reading

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Theoretical Unspecifiables (Theory Moves)

Theoretical Unspecifiable: [thee-uh-ret-i-kuhl un-spes-uh-fahy-uh-buhl] Noun Phrase In a theory or a mode of thought, an unspecified (and unspecifiable) term used to resolve gaps, contradictions, incommensurabilities and paradoxes.  A theoretical unspecifiable is conceptually nearly vacant (and inaccessible to theorization) but at the same … Continue reading

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Remembering Derrick Bell

Derrick Bell died last week at the age of 80.  Though his passing was overshadowed by the death of Steve Jobs, Bell’s achievements were recounted in the New York Times and elsewhere:  First African American law professor to be tenured … Continue reading

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Legal Formalism (A Refresher on Form)

O.K. for you law people, this will all be pretty familiar.   For you non-law people, this is  an acid challenge—a test of your tolerance for excruciatingly picayune legal exegesis.   One bit of solace I can offer you is that, conveniently, … Continue reading

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My Dinner at Langdell’s

It was one of those cold wet April Cambridge mornings. Too wet for fog, but too indifferent for rain. My head ached. My lips were dry and my tongue felt bloated. The fever had surely come back. Worse–the laudanum was … Continue reading

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Kandinsky or Hart? Aesthetics. No. 1

Kandinsky or Hart? Pierre Schlag Beta Version 1.0 In 1927, Heisenberg introduced his uncertainty principle. By 1934, Wittgenstein was breaking with his early work. In 1923, Kandinsky was putting the finishing touches on Composition VIII: And in 1958, H.L.A. Hart, … Continue reading

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