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Law and Society

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Impossibility Of A Prescriptive Paretian, Robert C. Hockett Oct 2007

The Impossibility Of A Prescriptive Paretian, Robert C. Hockett

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Most normatively oriented economists appear to be “welfarist” and Paretian to one degree or another: They deem responsiveness to individual preferences, and satisfaction of one or more of the Pareto criteria, to be a desirable attribute of any social welfare function. I show that no strictly “welfarist” or Paretian social welfare function can be normatively prescriptive. Economists who prescribe must embrace at least one value apart from or additional to “welfarism” and Paretianism, and in fact will do best to dispense with Pareto entirely.


Transparency And Textuality: Wilkie Collins' Law Books, Bernadette A. Meyler Feb 2007

Transparency And Textuality: Wilkie Collins' Law Books, Bernadette A. Meyler

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This article takes as its starting point the priority that Anglo-American legal thought has, in recent centuries, placed upon transparency, a priority that has relied, in large part, on the notion that the law should increasingly be recorded and publicly accessible. Through his representation of trial narratives - an extremely popular quasi-literary form during the nineteenth century - as well as the work of William Blackstone in his supposedly comprehensive Commentaries on the Laws of England, nineteenth-century novelist Wilkie Collins calls into question the idea that simply disseminating textual versions of the law or the records of legal processes will be able ...