2012-07-15 | Filed Under SteveG's Posts |
For those of you who are too frightened of smart people to want one to be your Senator, please stop reading now.
Thank you for not reading the rest of this article. (I hope that when you seek out medical advice, you don’t hold the same prejudice. All though there are many people that I know who are this consistent.)
For those of you still reading, I presume you won’t hold the following information against Elizabeth Warren.
On the way home from the Elizabeth Warren Ice Cream Social, one of the people in my car pool, MariaT, wondered if Elizabeth Warren had a PhD, since she was a professor at Harvard.
I thought she might have the equivalent of a PhD in the law profession which I figured was something called a J.D. (Juris Doctor). After a little research, I found out what degree she has and what it might mean.
From her Curriculum Vitae or CV posted at Harvard, I found that she has a J.D. Rutgers School of Law, Newark, 1976
From Wikipedia,I found out some information about a Juris Doctor curriculum.
Standard Juris Doctor curriculum
As stated by James Hall and Christopher Langdell, two people who were involved in the creation of the J.D., the J.D. is a professional degree like the M.D., intended to prepare practitioners through a scientific approach of analysing and teaching the law through logic and adversarial analysis (such as the Casebook and Socratic methods). It has existed as described in the United States for over 100 years, and can therefore be termed the standard or traditional J.D. program. The J.D. program requires a bachelors degree for entry. The program of study for the degree has remained substantially unchanged since its creation, and is an intensive study of the substantive law and its professional applications (and therefore requires no thesis, although a lengthy writing project is sometimes required). As a professional training, it provides sufficient training for entry into practice (no apprenticeship is necessary to sit for the bar exam). It requires at least three academic years of full time study. Strictly defined, the United States is the only jurisdiction with this form of a J.D., but the University of Tokyo (in Japan) and the University of Melbourne (in Australia) are attempting to follow this model closely. While the J.D. is considered a doctorate degree, lawyers usually use the suffix of “esquire” as opposed to the prefix “doctor.” Although calling a lawyer “doctor” would not be incorrect, it is more commonly employed overseas than in the U.S.
I leave it to you to decide what this all means for your desire to see Elizabeth Warren as a Senator from Massachusetts. For me, it only reinforces what I already knew about Warren – that I want her for my Senator.
Anybody who knows me well enough will hear the alarm bells going off at the mention of the Socratic method. If the Socratic method is anything like what I read in Plato’s Republic, then I fully understand what is wrong with the current Supreme Court majority, and I hope that Elizabeth Warren is smart enough to know the pitfalls and fallacies involved in the Socratic method. The Supreme court is frequently using logic based on syllogisms resulting in conclusions like “Corporations are people.” Well, actually, I just did some research to find out that what I am really upset with is a sorites.
A sorites is a form of argument in which a series of incomplete syllogisms is so arranged that the predicate of each premise forms the subject of the next until the subject of the first is joined with the predicate of the last in the conclusion. For example, if one argues that a given number of grains of sand does not make a heap and that an additional grain does not either, then to conclude that no additional amount of sand will make a heap is to construct a sorites argument.
I suppose the next logical conclusion from the sorites above is that there is no such thing as a heap of sand. And by further extension it would be easy to conclude that there is no such thing as a heap of anything. How far does this argument have to go to say, “I cannot accept this conclusion as making any sense, so whether or not I can figure out what it is, I know that there is something wrong with your argument?”
This dislike of Supreme Court Justices when they use these kinds of arguments is not because they are too smart. It is because they are not smart enough (or at least don’t think we are smart enough to see through them).