Re: Is vs. Ought

Robin Hanson (
Tue, 23 Nov 1999 19:02:04 -0500

Robert Bradbury wrote:
>While history & politics could be subject to "rigorous science" using
>computer technology and/or simulations, I question whether law, or art
>could be. ...
>Law seems to have highly specific historical, cultural, technological
>(e.g. evidence) and scientific (e.g. "expert" witnesses) aspects.
>The variety of chaotic variables may put it beyond "rigorous science"
>(though it may be entirely rational) and perhaps force it into the realm
>of limited simulations.

"Law and Economics" is an academic field where people use economic tools to understand law, and is one of the triumphs of modern economics. (Posner, the new Microsoft trial mediator, was a founder of the field.) So law can be understood as "scientifically" as any area of economics.

Robin Hanson Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323