Where is Felix Cohen When We Need Him? Transcendental Nonsense And The Moral Responsibility of Corporations

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.