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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 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 ...


High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler Mar 2017

High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn 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 ...


Common Knowledge: Epistemology And The Beginnings Of Copyright Law, Jonathan Scott Enderle Mar 2016

Common Knowledge: Epistemology And The Beginnings Of Copyright Law, Jonathan Scott Enderle

Scholarship at Penn Libraries

Literary critics’ engagement with copyright law has often emphasized ontological questions about the relation between idealized texts and their material embodiments. This essay turns toward a different set of questions—about the role of texts in the communication of knowledge. Developing an alternative intellectual genealogy of copyright law grounded in the eighteenth-century contest between innatism and empiricism, I argue that jurists like William Blackstone and poets like Edward Young drew on Locke’s theories of ideas to articulate a new understanding of writing as uncommunicative expression. Innatists understood texts as tools that could enable transparent communication through a shared stock ...


Poverty Knowledge, Coercion, And Social Rights: A Discourse Ethical Contribution To Social Epistemology, David Ingram Jan 2014

Poverty Knowledge, Coercion, And Social Rights: A Discourse Ethical Contribution To Social Epistemology, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

In today’s America the persistence of crushing poverty in the midst of staggering affluence no longer incites the righteous jeremiads it once did. Resigned acceptance of this paradox is fueled by a sense that poverty lies beyond the moral and technical scope of government remediation. The failure of experts to reach agreement on the causes of poverty merely exacerbates our despair. Are the causes internal to the poor – reflecting their more or less voluntary choices? Or do they emanate from structures beyond their control (but perhaps amenable to government remediation)? If both of these explanations are true (as I ...


What’S Right About The Medical Model In Human Subjects Research Regulation, Heidi Li Feldman Oct 2012

What’S Right About The Medical Model In Human Subjects Research Regulation, Heidi Li Feldman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Critics of Institutional Review Board (IRB) practices often base their charges on the claim that IRB review began with and is premised upon a "medical model" of research, and hence a "medical model" of risk. Based on this claim, they charge that IRB review, especially in the social and behavioral sciences, has experienced "mission creep". This paper argues that this line of critique is fundamentally misguided. While it remains unclear what critics mean by "medical model", the point of contemporary human research subjects regulation remains the same across all domains of research. That point is to protect the autonomy of ...


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 Law

No abstract provided.


The Discourse Beneath: Emotional Epistemology In Legal Deliberation And Negotiation, Erin Ryan Jan 2005

The Discourse Beneath: Emotional Epistemology In Legal Deliberation And Negotiation, Erin Ryan

Faculty Publications

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 Law

No abstract provided.