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corec

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Crowds of Plain People v. "Experts"
« Reply #480 on: February 28, 2011, 07:37:33 PM »

Looks like to me you're trying to make something out of nothing here!


I do not know in what sense you're saying this, but I take it as too much fuss on the part of legal scholars to formulate "theories" and the like, when in actuality things are settled in practice much easier. There is actually a book called "Wisdom of Crowds," exploring the apparent anomaly that crowds of non-experts seem to be collectively smarter than individual experts or even small groups of experts.

This basic insight is at the heart of contemporary financial investment theory, with its emphasis on the difficulty of outguessing the market. Beginning with British scientist Francis Galton's remarkable discovery in 1906 that a crowd of non-experts proved surprisingly competent at guessing the weight of an ox, financial columnist and author James Surowiecki skillfully recounts experiments, discoveries and anecdotes that demonstrate productive group thinking. The concept does not come as news to anyone reasonably well read in modern financial literature.

bre

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Re: Crowds of Plain People v. "Experts"
« Reply #481 on: March 03, 2011, 05:54:45 PM »

I do not know in what sense you're saying this, but I take it as too much fuss on the part of legal scholars to formulate "theories" and the like, when in actuality things are settled in practice much easier. There is actually a book called "Wisdom of Crowds," exploring the apparent anomaly that crowds of non-experts seem to be collectively smarter than individual experts or even small groups of experts.


Well, in the legal field itself, an example of this would be the determination of guilt/innocence of the accused on the part of 12 jurors from the community (the Grand Jury) instead of the learned (but biased) Judge. So it's not that the legal profession itself, does not take into account the "wisdom of crowds." :)

cigarillère

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Re: From Dawn to Decadence
« Reply #482 on: March 03, 2011, 06:45:02 PM »

In what is an even more decisive and deeper sense, Judea once again was victorious over the classical ideal at the time of the French Revolution. The last political nobility which we had in Europe, in 17th and 18th century France, broke apart under the instinct of popular resentment — never on earth has there ever been heard a greater rejoicing, a noisier enthusiasm! It's true that in the midst of all this the most dreadful and most unexpected events took place: the old ideal itself stepped physically and with unheard of splendour before the eyes and the conscience of humanity — and once again stronger, simpler, and more urgently than ever rang out, in opposition to the old lie, to the slogan of resentment about the privileged rights of the majority, in opposition to that will for a low condition, abasement, equality, for the decline and extinguishing of mankind — in opposition to all that there rang out a fearsome and delightful counter-slogan about the privileged rights of the few! As a last signpost to a different road Napoleon appeared, the most singular and late-born man there ever was, and in him the problem of the inherently noble ideal was made flesh. We might well think about what sort of a problem that is: Napoleon, this synthesis of the inhuman and the superhuman . . .


Jacques Barzun was born in 1907 and grew up in Paris and Grenoble, where his great-grandfather, a university professor, had settled to teach during the mid-19th century. He is convinced that our age, despite its extraordinary technological capabilities, is an Alexandrian age: a time of cultural sunset, depleted energies and moral confusion. His summary of what he calls "our present decadence" shows that he does not regard decadence as a neutral historical fact but as a cultural, moral, and political disaster of the first order. Barzun shows how, from one perspective, the symptoms of decadence can be understood as resulting from the hypertrophy of those very traits that defined the West: primitivism, emancipation, self-consciousness, individualism, and so on. What appear as motors for cultural development can, when pursued ruthlessly and without regard to other virtues, degenerate into engines of decadence and decline. He shows us how decadence has triumphed in various facets of modern life. There is, first of all, the spiritual paralysis that results from willing contradictory things. Western nations spend billions on public schooling for all, urged along by the public cry for Excellence. At the same time the society pounces on any show of superiority as elitism. The same nations deplore violence and sexual promiscuity among the young, but pornography and violence in films and books, shops and clubs, on television and the Internet, and in the lyrics of pop music cannot be suppressed, in the interests of "the free market of ideas."

The confusion generated by such contradictions attends every aspect of cultural endeavor. In the arts, it leads to the rise of anti-art, embodied on outside by the nihilistic pranks of Marcel Duchamp, on another by Picasso. He says that that "When people accept futility and the absurd as normal, the culture is decadent." But futility and absurdity only seem normal to a damaged sensibility. Of course, it is not only in the realm of culture that confusion reigns. The realms of social relations and politics are equally beset. One result is what he refers to as the "Great Switch," "the reversal of Liberalism into its opposite." If Liberalism originally "triumphed on the principle that the best government is that which governs least," today "for all the western nations political wisdom has recast the ideal of liberty into liberality." The universalization and extension of the welfare state has nurtured a culture of entitlement. The very notion of rights in Western society has devolved into farce, with everyone demanding his voice be heard. All this takes place under the rousing rebel yell of democracy, when the fundamental principle of democracy is majority rule. This last advent, socially speaking, creates a tyranny of the common man over his gifted counterpart -- in short, it is the lamentable rise of the "demotic," not "democratic," in fashion, music, and the arts -- a decline expedited by the Lowest Common Denominator strategies propagated by the monolithic advertising and television industries.


It has been argued that the overthrown of the French nobility was, in fact, lamentable, since the aristocracy was learned, pursued high intellectual interests and culture. It was the poor, the peasants that gained the most, simply because they went from having absolutely no rights, to having more some rights. That in itself was a huge step for them. The story of the French Revolution's is the violent attack on the French nobility - the most dazzling and sophisticated elite in the eighteenth century European world. Or, as some would say, the triumph of mediocrity over the gifted fellow.

value judgment

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Judea v. Rome
« Reply #483 on: March 13, 2011, 05:28:56 PM »

Rome Against Judea, Judea Against Rome." Rome felt that the Jews were something contrary to nature itself, something like its monstrous polar opposite. In Rome the Jew was considered "guilty of hatred again the entire human race." And that view may be correct, to the extent we are right to link the health and the future of the human race to the unconditional rule of aristocratic values, the Roman values. The Romans were the strong and noble men, stronger and nobler than any people who'd lived on earth up until then—or even than any people who'd ever been dreamed up. By contrast, the Jews were 'par excellence' that priestly people of resentment who possessed an unparalleled genius for popular morality.

Well, people have become merely tame or want to become tame — in front of three Jews, as we know, and one Jewess (before Jesus of Nazareth, the fisherman Peter, the carpet worker Paul, and the mother of the first-mentioned Jesus, named Mary). Now, this is very remarkable: without doubt Rome has been conquered. It's true that in the Renaissance there was a brilliant, incredible re-awakening of the classical ideal, the noble way of evaluating everything. Rome itself behaved like someone who'd woken up from a coma induced by the pressure of the new Jewish Rome built over it, which looked like an ecumenical synagogue and was called "the church." But immediately Judea triumphed again, thanks to that basically vulgar (German and English) movement of resentment, which we call the Reformation, together with what had to follow as a consequence, the re-establishment of the church, as well as the re-establishment of the old grave-like tranquillity of classical Rome.

In what is an even more decisive and deeper sense, Judea once again was victorious over the classical ideal at the time of the French Revolution. The last political nobility which we had in Europe, in 17th and 18th century France, broke apart under the instinct of popular resentment — never on earth has there ever been heard a greater rejoicing, a noisier enthusiasm! It's true that in the midst of all this the most dreadful and most unexpected events took place: the old ideal itself stepped physically and with unheard of splendour before the eyes and the conscience of humanity — and once again stronger, simpler, and more urgently than ever rang out, in opposition to the old lie, to the slogan of resentment about the privileged rights of the majority, in opposition to that will for a low condition, abasement, equality, for the decline and extinguishing of mankind — in opposition to all that there rang out a fearsome and delightful counter-slogan about the privileged rights of the few! As a last signpost to a different road Napoleon appeared, the most singular and late-born man there ever was, and in him the problem of the inherently noble ideal was made flesh. We might well think about what sort of a problem that is: Napoleon, this synthesis of the inhuman and the superhuman . . .


Here it is Jung's interpretation of the Nietzsche's thesis (being influenced, of course, by Nietzsche himself :)


Jung believed that just as the human race all started out pagan and only later, having lost touch with its pagan roots, became rootless, "civilized" and Christian, so Germans start out, in infancy, as spontaneous pagans, but this spontaneous religion is overlaid with the artificial ideas of monotheism. Our loss of wholeness is a loss of contact with these roots. But we can reach these roots, not by the difficult work of historical research but by going inward, digging below the personal unconscious and uncovering the collective unconscious that had only been covered over. When Jung discovered Freud's method of psychoanalysis, he quickly saw it as a tool to uncover hidden resources buried within. But while Freud welcomed Jung into the psychoanalytic movement, he soon noted that Jung was uncritical of myth. He began to fear Jung would compromise the attempt to assert scientific standing for psychoanalysis. This led eventually to the Freud-Jung split. Jung retained from Freud the cult atmosphere of the analytic movement and the lack of rigorous testing of hypotheses. Unlike Freud, Jung claimed that his analytic methods could investigate a inner realm with essentially religious meaning.

Jung explained the resistance of Freud and his close followers to Jung's version of analysis in an essentially racist way. The Freudians were mostly Jews, as was Freud himself. Freudians are uninterested in pagan myths, Jung decided, because they are mostly Jews. The Jews came from the Middle East, which was urbanized and thus depaganized at an early date. Jews had allegedly lost their pagan roots so long ago that they no longer had access to the collective unconscious. By contrast, Germanic peoples had lost their paganism at a relatively late date, roughly 500 to 1100 AD. Thus the pagan collective unconscious lay close enough to the psychological surface that it could still be dug up if only one were persistent enough. Since for Jung being in touch with the collective unconscious is a precondition for psychological health, Germanic types like himself are potentially healthier than Jews.

This idea is scientifically unsound, as it confuses what can be learned with what can be biologically inherited. It also links psychological health more to one ethnic group than another and could easily provide a rationale for anti- Semitism. Jung tended to think of the collective unconscious in racial terms until late in his life. About 1936, when he was already 60, he realized that a stress on this aspect of his thought would not go over well in the English speaking world where Jung thought he could find the greatest number of disciples. In fact, his views about an essentially Aryan collective unconscious put him close to the kinds of things that Hitler was saying.

Jung thought that Germans, English, and Anglo-Americans were all part of the Germanic family tree. The Jews, in his view, had been civilized too long--uprooted from the soil. The Russians were polluted by too much Asian/Mongolian blood. Jung thought his kind of analysis will get (Aryan) people in touch with their roots, still latent inside them, and restore their wholeness. Jung shared these ideas with a number of individuals who became Nazis. This is not to say that Jung was a Nazi. But he made one of the same basic errors that Nazism made: he failed to distinguish acquired cultural characteristics from inherited biological ones. It is understandable that Jung, like many intelligent Germans, could be confused on this question early in the 20th century when the science of genetics was barely getting started.

Doctors do it all the time.

zeitgeist

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #484 on: March 21, 2011, 06:02:32 PM »

Genius and creativity are not reserved for the few or the remarkable. Some are not born exceptional, all are. Birds of flight all have wings, cats of prey all have claws...why would the Creator play Advantage-Disadvantage roulette with Co-Creators? Genius is not measured by ability to recall or recant knowledge, but by how far creativity ranges and stretches knowledge, or by shade and degree of variance from principle.

A degree of creative variance can result in significant differences. For instance, but for one or two evolutionary degrees, chimpanzees would be human. How creative are chimpanzees? They can recall knowledge in human-like fashion but cannot communicate...dream...laugh.. .or use thumbs like humans. Often is it stated or lamented that each utilizes but 20% of mind's potential. Perhaps the missing 80 is stored elsewhere. Why not in soul? Afterall, that's the 100% of each that exceeds death.


I understand the point you are trying to make when mentioning the chimps, but don't you think you should have phrased the idea in a rather different way? (it has the potential to mislead the reader in an "unpleasant" way).


I concur :)

Sokal

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #485 on: April 19, 2011, 05:38:49 PM »

''Ph'' is always pronounced as ''f'', and ...you don't sound...the ''g.''
- Then why are they putting the ''g'', please?


Very funny indeed ... Here it is the entire thing here:

- Phlegm. ''Ph'' is always pronounced as ''f'', and ...you don't sound...the ''g.''
- Then why are they putting the ''g'', please?
- That's a very good question, but ... it's rather difficult to explain.
- Try, Brian.
- lt's just there.
- So, Mr. Professor, you do not know?
- No.
- Then l'm sorry, l cannot help you.

While funny (of course!), the professor should have known better!

Dolce-n-Gabbana

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #486 on: April 21, 2011, 05:52:58 PM »

Rome Against Judea, Judea Against Rome." Rome felt that the Jews were something contrary to nature itself, something like its monstrous polar opposite. In Rome the Jew was considered "guilty of hatred again the entire human race." And that view may be correct, to the extent we are right to link the health and the future of the human race to the unconditional rule of aristocratic values, the Roman values. The Romans were the strong and noble men, stronger and nobler than any people who'd lived on earth up until then—or even than any people who'd ever been dreamed up. By contrast, the Jews were 'par excellence' that priestly people of resentment who possessed an unparalleled genius for popular morality.

Well, people have become merely tame or want to become tame — in front of three Jews, as we know, and one Jewess (before Jesus of Nazareth, the fisherman Peter, the carpet worker Paul, and the mother of the first-mentioned Jesus, named Mary). Now, this is very remarkable: without doubt Rome has been conquered. It's true that in the Renaissance there was a brilliant, incredible re-awakening of the classical ideal, the noble way of evaluating everything. Rome itself behaved like someone who'd woken up from a coma induced by the pressure of the new Jewish Rome built over it, which looked like an ecumenical synagogue and was called "the church." But immediately Judea triumphed again, thanks to that basically vulgar (German and English) movement of resentment, which we call the Reformation, together with what had to follow as a consequence, the re-establishment of the church, as well as the re-establishment of the old grave-like tranquillity of classical Rome.

In what is an even more decisive and deeper sense, Judea once again was victorious over the classical ideal at the time of the French Revolution. The last political nobility which we had in Europe, in 17th and 18th century France, broke apart under the instinct of popular resentment — never on earth has there ever been heard a greater rejoicing, a noisier enthusiasm! It's true that in the midst of all this the most dreadful and most unexpected events took place: the old ideal itself stepped physically and with unheard of splendour before the eyes and the conscience of humanity — and once again stronger, simpler, and more urgently than ever rang out, in opposition to the old lie, to the slogan of resentment about the privileged rights of the majority, in opposition to that will for a low condition, abasement, equality, for the decline and extinguishing of mankind — in opposition to all that there rang out a fearsome and delightful counter-slogan about the privileged rights of the few! As a last signpost to a different road Napoleon appeared, the most singular and late-born man there ever was, and in him the problem of the inherently noble ideal was made flesh. We might well think about what sort of a problem that is: Napoleon, this synthesis of the inhuman and the superhuman . . .


Here it is Jung's interpretation of the Nietzsche's thesis (being influenced, of course, by Nietzsche himself :)


Jung believed that just as the human race all started out pagan and only later, having lost touch with its pagan roots, became rootless, "civilized" and Christian, so Germans start out, in infancy, as spontaneous pagans, but this spontaneous religion is overlaid with the artificial ideas of monotheism. Our loss of wholeness is a loss of contact with these roots. But we can reach these roots, not by the difficult work of historical research but by going inward, digging below the personal unconscious and uncovering the collective unconscious that had only been covered over. When Jung discovered Freud's method of psychoanalysis, he quickly saw it as a tool to uncover hidden resources buried within. But while Freud welcomed Jung into the psychoanalytic movement, he soon noted that Jung was uncritical of myth. He began to fear Jung would compromise the attempt to assert scientific standing for psychoanalysis. This led eventually to the Freud-Jung split. Jung retained from Freud the cult atmosphere of the analytic movement and the lack of rigorous testing of hypotheses. Unlike Freud, Jung claimed that his analytic methods could investigate a inner realm with essentially religious meaning.

Jung explained the resistance of Freud and his close followers to Jung's version of analysis in an essentially racist way. The Freudians were mostly Jews, as was Freud himself. Freudians are uninterested in pagan myths, Jung decided, because they are mostly Jews. The Jews came from the Middle East, which was urbanized and thus depaganized at an early date. Jews had allegedly lost their pagan roots so long ago that they no longer had access to the collective unconscious. By contrast, Germanic peoples had lost their paganism at a relatively late date, roughly 500 to 1100 AD. Thus the pagan collective unconscious lay close enough to the psychological surface that it could still be dug up if only one were persistent enough. Since for Jung being in touch with the collective unconscious is a precondition for psychological health, Germanic types like himself are potentially healthier than Jews.

This idea is scientifically unsound, as it confuses what can be learned with what can be biologically inherited. It also links psychological health more to one ethnic group than another and could easily provide a rationale for anti- Semitism. Jung tended to think of the collective unconscious in racial terms until late in his life. About 1936, when he was already 60, he realized that a stress on this aspect of his thought would not go over well in the English speaking world where Jung thought he could find the greatest number of disciples. In fact, his views about an essentially Aryan collective unconscious put him close to the kinds of things that Hitler was saying.

Jung thought that Germans, English, and Anglo-Americans were all part of the Germanic family tree. The Jews, in his view, had been civilized too long--uprooted from the soil. The Russians were polluted by too much Asian/Mongolian blood. Jung thought his kind of analysis will get (Aryan) people in touch with their roots, still latent inside them, and restore their wholeness. Jung shared these ideas with a number of individuals who became Nazis. This is not to say that Jung was a Nazi. But he made one of the same basic errors that Nazism made: he failed to distinguish acquired cultural characteristics from inherited biological ones. It is understandable that Jung, like many intelligent Germans, could be confused on this question early in the 20th century when the science of genetics was barely getting started.


Interesting observation, value! Thanks for pointing it out for us!

Dolce-n-Gabbana

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #487 on: April 21, 2011, 05:55:13 PM »

Why is "the real thing" so important to people? Objects are valued not only for their appearance, but also for their tremendous symbolic power. Any object can have symbolic and visual power. However, only "the real thing" contains the evidence to support its symbolic and visual importance. Evidential, artifactual, value is dependent on the material composition of the object. Reconciling the symbolic, visual, artifactual and evidential value of "the real thing" requires the convergence of stylistic, historical and scientific analysis. Such expertise is often provided by the collaboration of many experts found in museums like the Smithsonian. What do people really see when they look at an object on exhibit, in a book or on-line? What they actually see is a virtual reality, based on the appearance of the real thing. The appearances of objects have tremendous power to alter the course of history and human lives. But mere superficial appearances can be misleading.

Consider, for instance, something as simple as a manuscript. In fact, consider 3 famous manuscripts: "Howard Hughes' Autobiography," "Hitler's Diary," and the Mormon Church's "Salamander Letter." What do these documents have in common? Each had the power to greatly influence issues of legal, historical or religious significance. Each had this power, if, that is, they were "the real thing". But as it turned out, each was actually proven to be fake. The truth however exacted a costly toll, including the loss of human lives. One of history's most extreme cases of forged documents threatened to undermine one of the world's most powerful religions. The case of the "Freeman's Oath" and the "Salamander letter", resulted in the actual loss of life. In the mid-80's, a Utah dealer, Mark Hofmann, presented the Mormon Church with a series of documents, which if real would have greatly embarrassed the Church. As suspicion grew about the authenticity of the documents offered by Hofmann, he began to feel cornered. To protect himself, and provide a diversion, he resorted to murder, engineering the death of 3 people by blowing them up with home-made bombs. He eventually injured himself while transporting new bombs. When arrested, he ultimately confessed that he faked the documents; to make them appear authentic, he used historic paper and ink recipes. He claimed that he even artificially aged the documents by oxidizing them with hydrogen peroxide. This is what lead to his downfall and arrest in the first place. His creations had become suspect when examination, under high powered magnification (such as a stereomicroscope), revealed that the ink's medium of gum arabic was cracking in a strange manner, totally inconsistent with what would happen during "natural" aging.


Here it is a twisted case of this type in this movie



The Ninth Gate (1999) is a neo-noir, mystery thriller about the rare book business, wherein rare-book dealer Dean Corso (Johnny Depp) is hired by bibliophile Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) to validate a 17th-century copy of The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows, by Aristide Torchia, and what he encounters en route.

folate

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #488 on: April 25, 2011, 03:01:16 PM »

Why is "the real thing" so important to people? Objects are valued not only for their appearance, but also for their tremendous symbolic power. Any object can have symbolic and visual power. However, only "the real thing" contains the evidence to support its symbolic and visual importance. Evidential, artifactual, value is dependent on the material composition of the object. Reconciling the symbolic, visual, artifactual and evidential value of "the real thing" requires the convergence of stylistic, historical and scientific analysis. Such expertise is often provided by the collaboration of many experts found in museums like the Smithsonian. What do people really see when they look at an object on exhibit, in a book or on-line? What they actually see is a virtual reality, based on the appearance of the real thing. The appearances of objects have tremendous power to alter the course of history and human lives. But mere superficial appearances can be misleading.

Consider, for instance, something as simple as a manuscript. In fact, consider 3 famous manuscripts: "Howard Hughes' Autobiography," "Hitler's Diary," and the Mormon Church's "Salamander Letter." What do these documents have in common? Each had the power to greatly influence issues of legal, historical or religious significance. Each had this power, if, that is, they were "the real thing". But as it turned out, each was actually proven to be fake. The truth however exacted a costly toll, including the loss of human lives. One of history's most extreme cases of forged documents threatened to undermine one of the world's most powerful religions. The case of the "Freeman's Oath" and the "Salamander letter", resulted in the actual loss of life. In the mid-80's, a Utah dealer, Mark Hofmann, presented the Mormon Church with a series of documents, which if real would have greatly embarrassed the Church. As suspicion grew about the authenticity of the documents offered by Hofmann, he began to feel cornered. To protect himself, and provide a diversion, he resorted to murder, engineering the death of 3 people by blowing them up with home-made bombs. He eventually injured himself while transporting new bombs. When arrested, he ultimately confessed that he faked the documents; to make them appear authentic, he used historic paper and ink recipes. He claimed that he even artificially aged the documents by oxidizing them with hydrogen peroxide. This is what lead to his downfall and arrest in the first place. His creations had become suspect when examination, under high powered magnification (such as a stereomicroscope), revealed that the ink's medium of gum arabic was cracking in a strange manner, totally inconsistent with what would happen during "natural" aging.


Here it is a twisted case of this type in this movie



The Ninth Gate (1999) is a neo-noir, mystery thriller about the rare book business, wherein rare-book dealer Dean Corso (Johnny Depp) is hired by bibliophile Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) to validate a 17th-century copy of The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows, by Aristide Torchia, and what he encounters en route.


For the life of me, I just couldn't get the point of this movie!

probe

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #489 on: April 27, 2011, 02:38:30 PM »
Roman Polanski is known to be an excellent director, but this movie was a bit weird, I agree!