Thursday, July 31, 2008

Law is an Aristotelian (non-contradictory) logic superimposed on a contradictory (non-Aristotelian) social reality.

comments elsewhere
Bleed the pig, or kill it? If someone takes over a company with a strategy of running up the stock price and then dumping it, making a pile for himself and the shareholders, there are limits on what unhappy campers can do.

The issue is not one of “creative capitalism,” but of more amorphous notions of social obligation. How to discourage people from thinking in such limited terms is a moral issue, but it's a societal issue, not strictly a legal one.

Laws and Social Contracts are by definition non-conflicting and are inadequate as terms of description. Better, more precise (not less) to use the language of social obligations, overlapping and in conflict. Social life is not Aristotelian.
I should have been more clear, though I shouldn't need to be. [in fact the writing in the original is a mess] The discussion so far concerns technical issues of law, of Aristotelian (and artificial) superstructure; but laws change when values change, not the other way around. That last point is the important one. From an earlier comment:
Quiggin does not understand that in trying to reform the market as the market, all he’s doing is expanding it and the role of instrumentalism in communiation and social life. The end of his logic is to say “Art is Commerce” [to collapse an adversarial relation into a collaborative one]
The adversarial relation of art to commerce is the same in essence as the debate concerning laws and values, between technicians and philosophers (in a world where philosophers consider themselves more than technicians) between the concrete and the imaginative, between assumptions and questions.

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