Felix Cohen began Transcendental Nonsense and the Functional Approach, perhaps the most entertaining law review article ever written, by describing a heaven of legal concepts in which could be found “all the logical instruments needed to manipulate and transform . . . legal concepts and thus to create and to solve the most beautiful of legal problems.”
This heaven, which contained a dialectic-hydraulic-interpretation press, which could press an indefinite number of meanings out of any text or statute, an apparatus for constructing fictions, and a hair-splitting machine that could divide a single hair into 999,999 equal parts and, when operated by the most expert jurists, could split each of these parts again into 999,999 equal parts . . . [was] open to all properly qualified jurists, provided only they drank the Lethean draught which induced forgetfulness of terrestrial human affairs.