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The most exciting development in legal thinking since World War II has been the growth of interdisciplinary legal studies?the application of the social sciences and the humanities to law in the hope of making law less formalistic, more practical, better grounded empirically, bettered tailored to social goals. Judge Richard A. Posner has been a leader in this movement, and his new book explores its rapidly expanding frontier. The book examines five principal areas or directions of interdisciplinary study: ...
The most exciting development in legal thinking since World War II has been the growth of interdisciplinary legal studies—the application of the social sciences and the humanities to law in the hope of making law less formalistic, more practical, better grounded empirically, bettered tailored to social goals. Judge Richard A. Posner has been a leader in this movement, and his new book explores its rapidly expanding frontier. The book examines five principal areas or directions of interdisciplinary study: economics, history, psychology, the epistemology of law and the empirical study of law. These approaches are seen to interpenetrate and to compose a coherent body of legal theory—a unified framework for understanding such seemingly disparate phenomena as the economics of free speech, the intellectual history of economic analysis of law, the relation between income and liberty, the law of possession, the psychology of legal decisionmaking, the role of emotion in law, and the use of citation analysis to evaluate judges and law professors. The book carries on Posner's project of analyzing the law as an institution of social governance.
|1||The Law and Economics Movement: From Bentham to Becker||31|
|2||The Speech Market||62|
|3||Normative Law and Economics: From Utilitarianism to Pragmatism||95|
|4||Law's Dependence on the Past||145|
|5||Historicism in Legal Scholarship: Ackerman and Kahn||170|
|6||Savigny, Holmes, and the Law and Economics of Possession||193|
|7||Emotion in Law||225|
|8||Behavioral Law and Economics||252|
|9||Social Norms, with a Note on Religion||288|
|11||The Principles of Evidence and the Critique of Adversarial Procedure||336|
|12||The Rules of Evidence||380|
|13||Counting, Especially Citations||411|
Posted August 20, 2002
I'd like to take a minute of your time to share some of my thoughts about Richard Posner with you. Let's get down to brass tacks: Posner's compeers argue that he acts in the public interest. These are the same cruel swaggerers who step on other people's toes. This is no coincidence; neither Posner nor his legates have dealt squarely or clearly with the fact that I call this phenomenon 'Posner-ism'. Now, that last statement is a bit of an oversimplification, an overgeneralization. But it is nevertheless substantially true. His warnings are like an enormous revanchism-spewing machine. We must begin dismantling that structure. We must put a monkey wrench in its gears. And we must dispense justice, because Posner says he's going to cultivate the purest breed of irresponsibility in the immediate years ahead. Is he out of his mind? The answer is fairly obvious when you consider that he spouts a lot of numbers whenever he wants to make a point. He then subjectively interprets those numbers to support his memoranda while ignoring the fact that his opinions have kept us separated for too long from the love, contributions, and challenges of our brothers and sisters in this wonderful adventure we share together -- life! Never have I seen such a gross error in judgment as Posner's decision to ascribe opinions to me that I don't even hold. Those of us who are too lazy or disinterested to subject Posner's actions to the rigorous scrutiny they warrant have no right to complain when he and his mercenaries change the course of history. To Posner's mind, everything is happy and fine and good. So that means that the purpose of life is self-gratification, right? No, not right. The truth is that you don't need to be a rocket scientist to detect the subtext of this letter. But just in case it's too subliminal for some, let me thrust it into your face right here: Posner argues that individual worth is defined by race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin. To maintain this thesis, Posner naturally has had to shovel away a mountain of evidence, which he does by the desperate expedient of claiming that this is the best of all possible worlds and that he is the best of all possible people.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.