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SSRN

Columbia Law School

Public Law and Legal Theory

2006

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Rose Theorem?, Michael Heller Jan 2006

The Rose Theorem?, Michael Heller

Faculty Scholarship

Law resists theorems. We have hypotheses, typologies, heuristics, and conundrums. But, until now, only one plausible theorem – and that we borrowed from economics. Could there be a second, the Rose Theorem?

Any theorem must generalize, be falsifiable, and have predictive power. Law's theorems, however, seem to require three additional qualities: they emerge from tales of ordinary stuff; are named for, not by, their creators; and have no single authoritative form. For example, Ronald Coase wrote of ranchers and farmers. He has always shied away from the Theorem project. When later scholars formalized his parable, they created multiple and inconsistent ...