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Showing posts from March 3, 2013

Unevenman and oddman

William Ian Miller is officially a professor of law at the University of Michigan. Other law scholars study rational choice and regulatory decisionmaking, or labor law, or even, more broadly, Constitutional law – Miller, however, studied Icelandic sagas. He’s written a number of books – The Anatomy of Disgust, Humiliation – which seem tangential to any legal school in the U.S. – but that are, relevant to the passions that animate our everyday practices of justice – practices that often operate outside the courtroom. Miller reminds me a bit of Roberto Calasso. Calasso is an arch European pessimist, while Miller seems a resolutely cheerful American pragmatist, but both have a solid grounding in myth or folklore – Calasso in the Vedas, Miller in old Scandinavian tests – that they return to again and again to untangle conceptual knots. The very term “knots”, of course, leads us, by sneaky Cratyllian pathways, back to the gods. In Eye for an Eye, Miller performs a reading of the ic