Felix Cohen: Transcendental Nonsense

Felix Cohen: Transcendental Nonsense

Postby Prajna » Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:44 am

You may have heard the expression "The law is an ass" and assumed that sentiment was expressed by those subject to it rather than those who administer it. In an effort to delight and enlighten you, here is a quote from Felix Coen, an American lawyer and scholar who made a lasting mark on legal philosophy, worked in the Solicitor's Office of the Department of the Interior, and taught legal philosophy at Yale Law School, The City College of New York, and Rutgers Law School.:

Felix S. Cohen wrote:Legal concepts (for example, corporations or property rights) are supernatural entities which do not have a verifiable existence except to the eyes of faith. Rules of law, which refer to these legal concepts, are not descriptions of empirical social facts (such as the customs of men or the customs of judges) nor yet statements of moral ideals, but are rather theorems in an independent system. It follows that a legal argument cqan never be refuted by a moral principle nor yet by any empirical fact. Jurisprudence, then, as an autonomous system of legal concepts, rules, and arguments, must be independent both of ethics and of such positive sciences as economics or psychology. In effect, it is a special branch of the science of transcendental nonsense.

And here is a link to his wikipedia page, so as to help you begin a deeper study of this man:


Having studied him you will be able to wax far more eloquent than merely to object "The law is an ass!"

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Re: Felix Cohen: Transcendental Nonsense

Postby enegiss » Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:18 am

looks very interesting thanks prajna.
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