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					          Today’s Lecture:




          Critical Legal Studies




Session


 15
Everyone
 Votes!
           1.   Yes, it should have.      0
           2.   No, it should not have.   0
                      Intro to Skepticism


-- We finished positivism. Now we want to look at the last
remaining “approach”
-- It really isn’t an approach or a school at all; it is more of a
non-approach. (a criticism without an answer)
-- To begin, let’s recall the Holmesian/realist problem ..
                Holmes Explosion




Sociological
Jurisprudence      Positivism
(Progressive          Originalism   Skepticism
Determinism)          Analytic
                      Inductive
“law”
                     Intro to Skepticism


Basic idea

-- There are no right answers.
    -- There are also no better answers.
    -- All answers are equally valid
-- The truth is arbitrary
-- “Justification” is a cloak or a sham
-- culture, politics, psychology and ideology is all that there is
to justification
                      Intro to Skepticism


 Basic idea

-- Other terms for:
          Deconstruction       My term: “Anti-Foundationalism”

          Post-Modernism

          “Relativism”

• “plain” skepticism – there is no knowledge; only construction
• moral skepticism – there is no morality; only position.
• legal skepticism – there is no law; only power.
                     Intro to Skepticism


 Some context

-- Before I explain this to you, let’s get some context
   Teaching Tool
    -- Skepticism is something that philosophy departments
    generally use a toy
    -- the idea is to get you thinking about what the foundation
    of your beliefs/claims
     -- by denying the validity of everything, your beliefs are
    encouraged to be broken down so that you might know how
    to reassemble them
                    Intro to Skepticism


 Metaphor –
 Some context

   1. If your thoughts to you, let’s get some were a
-- Before I explain this were a motor and youcontext mechanic,
       skepticism
   Teaching Tool would be the tool teachers use to get you to
       disassemble it. They want all the constituent parts of
        Skepticism is something that philosophy departments
    -- thoughts broken so that the motor appears as the chaos
       of its use toy
    generallyparts.a This allows you to be able to put the
        the idea is to get you thinking about and the foundation
    -- motor/thoughts back together again, what to know exactly
    ofwhat limitations your thoughts consist of.
         your beliefs/claims
        by denying the validity of everything, your limitations
  2. --Mention Socrates: Wisdom is knowing thebeliefs are of
       knowledge. be ignorant think that you might know the
    encouraged toThebroken down so beliefs are certain; how
        reassemble answers are the same. The wise know the
    tofools think allthem
       answers for what they are.
                  Intro to Skepticism


Some context

 status outside of philosophy
  -- There are some people who take skepticism seriously
  (literally).
  -- Many of these tend to be in sociology departments, in
  political science departments (to some extent), and in some
  areas of law school.
   Left Wing?
  -- it is worth mentioning that a lot of proponents of
  skepticism generally have a leftist ideology. Perhaps this
  might make skepticism itself a little “motivated?”
                    Intro to Skepticism


  An example

-- Skepticism really can’t be understood being talked about. It’s
time to jump in the water.



                                         Question:
                                How do you know that your
                               classmates or I exist? Do you
                               know that you are present in
                               class right now and that I am
                                talking to you? How do you
                                         know this?
How do you know
   you exist?


                  0
                  0
                  0
                    Intro to Skepticism


  An example

-- Skepticism really can’t be understood being talked about. It’s
time to jump in the water.
  Argument from hallucination      “Matrix”
-- The technique is twofold:
    (1) Define knowledge as “complete certainty.”
    (2) To show that nothing can withstand that standard
-- in the process, make even direct perception something that
     cannot give “truth” or “knowledge.”
                    Intro to Skepticism


  An example

-- Skepticism really can’t be understood being talked about. It’s
time to jump in the water.
  Argument from hallucination      “Matrix”
-- The technique is twofold:
                                           Question:
     (1) Define knowledge as “complete certainty.”
                               Imagine for the moment that the
     (2) To show that nothing can withstand that standard
                              argument from hallucination were
                            true: your senses are flawed. Life is
-- in the process, make even direct perception something that
                             a Matrix. Is there a logical problem
     cannot give “truth” or “knowledge.”
                           with the argument from hallucination,
                                        and what is it?
logical problem with
   argument from
   hallucination?

                       0
                       0
                       0
                    Intro to Skepticism


  An example

-- Skepticism really can’t be understood being talked about. It’s
time to jump in the water.
  Argument from hallucination      “Matrix”
-- The technique is twofold:
                                      certainty.”
    (1) Define knowledge as “complete Answer:
    (2) To show that nothing can withstand that standard
                              It’s irrelevant! You still have to
-- in the process, make evenmake consequential choices
                                 direct perception something that
     cannot give “truth” or “knowledge.” the context
                                       within
                   Intro to Skepticism


 Two Structures

-- Skeptical arguments have one of two patterns or structures to
them. It is very important that we get familiar with this.

   External Skepticism

   -- We don’t know because we cannot transcend our context.
   -- Because we live in a context, we will never truly “know.”
   -- analogy: we are like fish in a bowl
   -- Hence, this argument treats context as an OBJECTION
    “Real Truth” or   (outside the context)
      “full truth”


                          context



                                      “contextual
                                         truth”




Fundamental Point –

1. The context is presented as an
   OBJECTION to knowledge, not a
   description of it.
“Real Truth” or               This
  “full truth”


                  context



                            “contextual
                               truth”
     “Real Truth” or
                                        Renders
       “full truth”                    This Invalid

                           context



                                     “contextual
                                        truth”



Fundamental Point –

1. There can be no truth,
   because there is a context
                         That’s why they call it
“Real Truth” or          “external skepticism”
  “full truth”


                      context



                                   “contextual
                                      truth”



                               Answer:
                                     Question:
                                       Answer:
                                         Question:
                              Was the argument from
            Even if true (a better context exists), we still
                                      Yes it logical
                               hallucination was. flaw in
                                 What is the external
                                       the context. There
            have to find merit withinthis argument?
                                    skepticism?
             is nothing wrong with finding contextual
              merit. What else are you going to do?
                    Intro to Skepticism


 Two Structures

-- Let’s introduce a second kind of skeptical argument that is
better than the first kind.

   Internal Skepticism

   -- This concedes that merit can exist within the context.
   -- It concedes that truth and knowledge within the context
   exists
   -- However, it says that you will never find it
   -- This is because of the humans inevitably misbehave
   -- This is because of the problem of BIAS.
Concession:

1. Yes, this is valuable. Some
   truths within the context
   are better than others
                            context



                                      “contextual
                                         truth”
However:

1. Humans will screw it up.
   Their biases won’t get at it
   properly. (The rule of men
   will fail!).            context
2. Justification   within   the
   context will inevitably be a
   sham.                             “contextual
                                        truth”
3.    What you think today is the
     answer will not be the same
     tomorrow! You do not have
     knowledge, you only have
     your psychological comforts
          That’s why they call it
          “internal skepticism”

context



           “contextual
              truth”
                    Intro to Skepticism


Important Ways of Speaking
-- We should become familiar with some of skepticism’s
vocabulary
  “construction”    -- Assembling justification to fit a viewpoint.
                    -- (Just build what you need)

  Instrumentalism     -- Using reasons for ulterior desires
                      (instrument = weapon)

“Motivated Reasoning”      -- Convincing yourself that your view
                           is right. (psychological phenomenon)
                    Intro to Skepticism


Important Ways of Speaking
-- We should become familiar with some of skepticism’s
vocabulary
  “construction”    -- Assembling justification to fit a viewpoint.
                    -- (Just build what you need)
                           Key point:
  Instrumentalism     -- Using reasons for ulterior desires
                          1. The subordination of
                      (instrument = weapon) psychology.
                              epistemology to

“Motivated Reasoning”      -- Convincing yourself that your view
                           is right. (psychological phenomenon)
                     Intro to Skepticism


 Language Wars
-- Note the difference of the following grammars:
            Column 1 – bias     Column 2-- merit
            Desire              Premise
            Impulse               Logic
            Psychology            Justification
            Ideology            Philosophy
            Hegemony            Knowledge
            Dogma               Science
            Construction        Paradigm
Key point:            Intro to Skepticism

1. The grammar of
  Language Wars
   anti-foundationalism
 -- Note the difference of the following grammars:
             Column 1 – bias     Column 2-- merit
             Desire              Premise
             Impulse               Logic
             Psychology            Justification
             Ideology            Philosophy
             Hegemony            Knowledge
             Dogma               Science
             Construction        Paradigm
                     Intro to Skepticism
                                    Key point:

                                    1. The grammar of
 Language Wars                         foundationalism
-- Note the difference of the following grammars:
            Column 1 – bias      Column 2-- merit
            Desire               Premise
            Impulse                Logic
            Psychology             Justification
            Ideology             Philosophy
            Hegemony             Knowledge
            Dogma                Science
            Construction         Paradigm
                   Intro to Skepticism


Approach to “Law”

  -- there is no law; there is only power
  -- there are no rules; there are only motivations
  -- legal text is perpetually indeterminate (textual
  indeterminacy).
  -- principles/essences are either imagined, contradictory or
  motivated
                   Intro to Skepticism


The Argument from Equal Opposites

  -- there is another very common skeptical argument there I
  want to introduce you to
  -- it’s called “the fundamental contradiction:”
     • For every principle, P, there is a counter principle, Q
     (example: Christianity)
  “The Fundamental Contradiction”




Love                     Judgment
               “The Fundamental Contradiction”




          Love                                Judgment



                                    1. There are two contradictory
Basic idea:
                                       impulses in Christian
                                       theology
1. One is given privilege, the
   other is “deprivileged”
                                    2. For a person to select a
                                       Christian message, he or
2. This “choice” is a function of
                                       she has to select which one
   politics/ideology.
                                       to emphasize
              “The Fundamental Contradiction”




Hence:    Love                              Judgment
1. Conservative preachers
   deprivilege love and stress
   judgment                       1. There are two contradictory
                                     impulses in Christian
2. Liberal preachers do the          theology
   opposite
                                  2. For a person to select a
3. The Bible is a contradictory      Christian message, he or
   set of impulses used for          she has to select which one
   instrumental rhetoric             to emphasize
  “The Fundamental Contradiction”




Love                     Judgment



                            My favorite!
            “The Fundamental Contradiction”



1. sinners go to hell
2. non-believers go to hell
        Love
(Jews? Muslims?)
                                   Judgment
3. fire and brimstone
4. homosexuals are living in sin
5. Good values mean a                 My favorite!
conservative social order
6. Abortion is murder
         “The Fundamental Contradiction”




     Love                       Judgment



My favorite!
         “The Fundamental Contradiction”


                      1. everyone gets to heaven
                      2. we will all be shown our
     Love                            Judgment
                      errors and shortcomings at the
                      end; the crucifixion saved us all.
                      3. Forgive and love your
                      enemies, including Iraq
My favorite!
                      4. Being a good Christian
                      means ending poverty, fighting
                      hunger, providing national
                      health insurance, etc.
  “The Fundamental Contradiction”

Basic Idea:


1. Religion is politics in disguise
Love                              Judgment
2. It is a “sham.”
3. It cannot be taken “in and of itself”
4. The fundamental contradiction prevents this
   (Very important to understand: skepticism
   does not say that motivated reasoning exists;
   it says it MUST exist. Extremely important
   point).
   (Also remember: EVERYTHING has a
   fundamental contradiction)
“America’s Fundamental Contradiction”

                   Question:
      Is there a dichotomous set of ideals
       that underlie the fabric of American
         society? What two, seemingly-
         opposing ideas might be at the
         center of America as a political
                    philosophy
dichotomous set of
values for America?


                      0
                      0
                      0
“America’s Fundamental Contradiction”




 Liberty                      Order
“America’s Fundamental Contradiction”




Liberty                       Order



                                My favorite!
    “America’s Fundamental Contradiction”

1. can’t burn the flag
2. government can outlaw
abortion
3. noLiberty enemy
     rights for                    Order
combatants
4. no warrants for surveillance
5. states can make kids pray in
school                              My favorite!
6. No rights unless specifically
mentioned
  “America’s Fundamental Contradiction”




    Liberty                     Order



My favorite!
  “America’s Fundamental Contradiction”

                  1. warrants for everything
                  2. not only can you burn flags, but
                  “porn” is “speech” too.
    Liberty                          Order
                  3. Not only can you not prey in the
                  schools, government can’t ever
                  mention the word “God” – not on its
                  money or anywhere.
My favorite!
                  4. Death penalty is unconstitutional;
                  abortion is always allowed.
“America’s Fundamental Contradiction”


Basic Idea:


                                     politics
1. American “ideals” are nothing but Order in
 Liberty
   disguise
2. They are a “sham.”
3. They cannot mean something “in and of itself”
4. The fundamental contradiction prevents this

                                  Question:
                          What, if anything, is wrong
                          with this? Is there a basic
                              flaw in logic here?
what is wrong with
 this argument?


                     0
                     0
                     0
“America’s Fundamental Contradiction”




   1. It essentially says this: if something has an
      antonym, you cannot use deployOrder
 Liberty                                  it
      intelligently. Anything that has an antonym
      cannot be used.

       Mathematics? (addition and subtraction)

    2. Spectrum or “blend” concepts. (Says you
       cannot have a blend?)
  “America’s Fundamental Contradiction”
Either/Or Fallacy:
It is a fallacy to say that a society could only validly
    Basic either
exist as Idea: complete totalitarianism or the garden of
Eden. That to blend these concepts would be a
     Liberty                               Order
fundamental contradiction. nothing but politics in
    1. American “ideals” are
         disguise
It is also a fallacy to say that religion could only exist
     fire and are a “sham.”
as2. They brimstone or with dreadlocks. That to
combine the two could not produce an intelligent
    3. They
BLEND. cannot mean something “in and of itself”
    4. The fundamental contradiction prevents this
These “opposite-conceived” belief systems gain their
validity from the idea of BLENDS or RECIPIES, not
from an “eternal contradiction.”
END SESSION

				
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