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Full-Text Articles in Law

Arguing With Friends, William Baude, Ryan D. Doerfler Jan 2018

Arguing With Friends, William Baude, Ryan D. Doerfler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

It is a fact of life that judges sometimes disagree about the best outcome in appealed cases. The question is what they should make of this. The two purest possibilities are to shut out all other views, or else to let them all in, leading one to concede ambiguity and uncertainty in most if not all contested cases.

Drawing on the philosophical concepts of “peer disagreement” and “epistemic peerhood,” we argue that there is a better way. Judges ought to give significant weight to the views of others, but only when those others share the judge’s basic methodology or interpretive …


High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler Mar 2017

High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

Courts look at text differently in high-stakes cases. Statutory language that would otherwise be ‘unambiguous’ suddenly becomes ‘less than clear.’ This, in turn, frees up courts to sidestep constitutional conflicts, avoid dramatic policy changes, and, more generally, get around undesirable outcomes. The standard account of this behavior is that courts’ failure to recognize ‘clear’ or ‘unambiguous’ meanings in such cases is motivated or disingenuous, and, at best, justified on instrumentalist grounds.

This Article challenges that account. It argues instead that, as a purely epistemic matter, it is more difficult to ‘know’ what a text means—and, hence, more difficult to regard …


Hobbes And The Internal Point Of View, Claire Oakes Finkelstein Jan 2006

Hobbes And The Internal Point Of View, Claire Oakes Finkelstein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

No abstract provided.


Cross-Cultural Commerce In Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice, Anita L. Allen, Michael R. Seidl Jan 1995

Cross-Cultural Commerce In Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice, Anita L. Allen, Michael R. Seidl

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

No abstract provided.