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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Law and the Limits of Reason (eBook)

ISBN13: 9780190452476
Published: January 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: USA
Format: eBook (ePub)
Price: £20.82 + £4.16 VAT
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Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780199914098

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Human reason is limited. Given the scarcity of reason, how should the power to make constitutional law be allocated among legislatures, courts and the executive, and how should legal institutions be designed? In Law and the Limits of Reason, Adrian Vermeule denies the widespread view, stemming from Burke and Hayek, that the limits of reason counsel in favor of judges making "living" constitutional law in the style of the common law. Instead, he proposes and defends a "codified constitution" - a regime in which legislatures have the primary authority to develop constitutional law over time, through statutes and constitutional amendments.

Vermeule contends that precisely because of the limits of human reason, large modern legislatures, with their numerous and highly diverse memberships and their complex internal structures for processing information, are the most epistemically effective lawmaking institutions.

  • Discusses how the legal and political system is limited by the processing capacity of the brain, by errors arising from cognitive heuristics, by the intrinsic costs of information, and sometimes by emotions.
  • Provides a signal contribution to one of the hottest topics in contemporary democratic theory, "epistemic democracy."
  • Questions what's behind the curtain of "settled practices" or "legal rules" and asks to what extent are these in fact a constellation of less-than-rational judgments?

Jurisprudence, eBooks