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Limited rationality is a defence mechanism. It is the way the modern lawyer prevents her understanding of the law from collapsing into chaos. In part because of this – though sometimes simply because it is the ‘done thing’ – it is vigorously defended by modern lawyers. That defence, however, never deals with the ultimate issue. It cannot. Limited rationality cannot rationally be defended. One of the most remarkable features of modern legal analysis is the amount of energy that is expended attempting to hide from this fact.

22 Ibid. FORMALISM IN MUSIC AND LAW 219 I doubt that anybody has ever thought that coherence is an end in itself. It is, rather, a necessary condition for the achievement of some important ends. In music, that end is the creation of beautiful and satisfying musical works, and coherence is a necessary condition for that end because works that do not ‘hang together’ strike us as unsatisfactory. In science, the end is the production of informative theories about the world, and coherence is necessary to that end as a theory can be informative only to the extent to which it is coherent.

2000) 34 Val U L Rev 561 at 566 and Beever, Rediscovering, supra note 25 at 176– 7, respectively). Indeed, but how could pointing to this practice possibly defend it? 28 A person concerned only to realize his self-interest might come to the conclusion that it is best not to think too much about his self-interest or he would find himself unable to get on and enjoy life. The decision to put that realization into effect is not the placing of a constraint on his self-interest. It is simply the realization of his self-interest.

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University of Toronto Law Journal by Arthur Ripstein, Editor

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