EXPERTS MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH
work is doing poor work. Historians object to law office history;
scientistsshould be expected to object if interdisciplinary work results in shoddy lawoffice science.I see law as a practical subject; I think law professors should keep inmind the probable outcomes of following their theories.
Therefore, myfocus in this article is on several types of danger to the public. Here, I firstneed to distinguish between the use of scientific facts and the use of scientific language.As for the usefulness to law of scientific metaphors, I admit to aproblem with any type of metaphor (or analogy or other verbalcategorization) being used instead of nuanced analysis of disparatesituations. Consider, for example, the on-going problems caused byclassifying the Internet as a type of “space,”
or labeling the post-9/11 U.S.foreign policy as a “war on terror.”
Consider also that none of us everagreed to the allotment of disproportionate electoral power to voters in lesspopulous states, and yet discussion of the Constitution as a “socialcontract” blinds many of us to this irrefutable fact.
The power of wordchoice to change human reactions is widely documented but certainly notinfinite.
This article, however, is not focused on the power of wordchoice.
Such problems may beset even the most highly respected authors. For example, one outcome of Judge Posner’s desire “to bring measurement to bear on legal issues” was an excursion intobibliometrics, counting citations to an author’s works.
Virgil L. P. Blake,
CitationStudies—The Missing Background
, 12 CARDOZO L. REV. 1961 (1991) (book review of RichardA. Posner, C
: A S
‘Don’t Know Much About History’: The Current Crisis in Second Amendment Scholarship,
29 N. K
. at 657-81 (2002) (discussing the overabundance of works using shoddy historical scholarship as a prop to support an already chosen positionregarding the Second Amendment).
note 1, at 132-33 (pointing out the absurdity of law professorswriting articles as if arguing for clients in real lawsuits).
Thomas C. Folsom,
Defining Cyberspace (Finding Real Virtue in the Place of Virtual Reality
), 9 T
. & I
. 75, 110 at n.90 (“Thinking of cyberspaceas it actually is yields far richer images than seeing it only dimly through simile or metaphor”including that of physical space.). The trope of “visibility” may be undercutting the movement toprotect personal privacy on the internet.
Julie E. Cohen,
Privacy, Visibility, Transparency,and Exposure
, 75 U. C
. L. R
. 181, 181-201 (Fall 2008) (outlining her argument for thisconclusion).
, “Informal” Suspension of Normal Processes: The “War onTerror” as an Autoimmunity Crisis
, 87 B.U. L. R
. 323, 329-332 (2007) (discussing “TheRhetoric of ‘War on Terror’”).
Dampening the Illegitimacy of the United States Government
. 123, 135-39 (discussing the power of describing the Constitution as a ‘contract’).
Your Image Is My Image: When Advertising DedicatesTrademarks to the Public Domain—With an Example from the Trademark Counterfeiting Act of 1984
, 14 C
. 1391, 1440-46 (1993) (discussing Sapir-Worf hypothesis inrelationship to trademark genericism).