The Faculty Podcast

Listen to lectures by—and discussions with—the University of Chicago Law School's eminent faculty, as well as some very special guests.

February 22, 2008

Richard Epstein is James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. This talk, which discusses Riegel v. Medtronic and Rowe v. New Hampshire, was recorded February 21, 2008 at the request of the Federalist Society.

January 29, 2008

Robert E. Goodin is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and of Social & Political Theory in the Research School of Social Sciences at Australian National University. This talk was recorded January 16, 2008 as the 2007-2008 John Dewey Lecture on Jurisprudence. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, or so we are told. But why on earth not? The statute books run to hundreds of volumes. How can an ordinary citizen know what all is in them? The best way might be for law (at least in its wide-scope duty-conferring aspects) to track broad moral principles that ordinary citizens can know and apply for themselves. In contrast to more high-minded and deeply principled arguments, this epistemic argument for legal moralism is purely pragmatic – but importantly so. For law to do what law is supposed to do, which is to be action-guiding, people need to be able to intuit without detailed investigation what the law is for most common and most important cases of their conduct, and to intuit when their intuitions are likely to be unreliable and hence that they need to investigate further what the law actually is.

January 23, 2008

Anup Malani is Professor of Law and Aaron Director Research Scholar at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded January 16, 2008 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas Lecture Series. Much of current scholarship views corporate philanthropy managerial waste or profiteering. In this talk, Professor Malani argues that both views are correct, and incomplete. Corporate philanthropy is the corporation’s entry into the market for private financing of public goods, also called the production of “warm glow.” This market was previously dominated by non-profit charities and the government. The feature that distinguishes corporate production of warm glow from other goods is that the corporation’s shareholders and workers are also its consumers. (Would you rather own or work for Google or Altria?) The key choices for the consumers of warm glow are whether to purchase from corporations or their competitors, and whether to do this via ownership, employment or product purchase. The talk will discuss the competitive advantage of corporations over charities and the government, and the importance of tax law in determining how consumers purchase warm glow from corporations. © 2008 The University of Chicago.

December 6, 2007

Dr. Ela Bhatt, recipient of the University of Chicago's 2007 William Benton Medal for Distinguished Public Service, presented a public lecture on November 27th in the Weymouth Kirkland Courtroom. Ela R. Bhatt is widely recognized as one of the world’s most remarkable pioneers and entrepreneurial forces in grassroots development. Known as the “gentle revolutionary” she has dedicated her life to improving the lives of India’s poorest and most oppressed women workers, with Gandhian thinking as her source of guidance. In 1972, Dr. Bhatt founded the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) – a trade union which now has more than 1,000,000 members. Founder Chair of the Cooperative Bank of SEWA, she is also founder and chair of Sa-Dhan (the All India Association of Micro Finance Institutions in India) and founder-chair of the Indian School of Micro-finance for Women. Dr. Bhatt was a Member of the Indian Parliament from 1986 to 1989, and subsequently a Member of the Indian Planning Commission. She founded and served as chair for Women’s World Banking, the International Alliance of Home-based Workers (HomeNet), and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing, Organizing (WIEGO). She also served as a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation for a decade. Dr. Bhatt has received several awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the Right Livelihood Award, the George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award, and the Légion d’honneur from France. She has also received honorary doctorates from Harvard, Yale, the University of Natal and other academic institutions. In 2007, Dr. Bhatt was named a member of The Elders, an international group of leaders whose goals include catalyzing peaceful resolutions to long-standing conflicts, articulating new approaches to global issues that are causing or may cause immense human suffering, and sharing wisdom by helping to connect voices all over the world. The Benton Medal The William Benton Medal for Distinguished Public Service is given to individuals who have rendered distinguished public service in the field of education. This field includes “not only teachers but also . . . everyone who contributes in a systematic way to shaping minds and disseminating knowledge.” Previous Benton Medal recipients include John Callaway, Katharine Graham, and Senator Paul Simon.

November 9, 2007

Mark Heyrman is Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded on November 6, 2007 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas Series. © 2007 The University of Chicago Law School. "In the 1970's most states tightened their standards for involuntary commitment. During the past fifteen years the movement has been in the opposite direction--relaxing those standards. This talk will apply ideas developed by former Law School Dean Norval Morris to explore the effects (if any) these changes have had and will have on the number of persons involuntarily confined in psychiatric hospitals and why other institutional arrangements are substantially more important in explaining past and future fluctuations in the number of such commitments."

November 2, 2007

Cass Sunstein is Karl N. Llewellyn Dist. Service Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded on October 23, 2007 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas Series. © 2007 The University of Chicago Law School. "What does the Second Amendment mean? The Supreme Court has not told us, and the history seems shrouded in mist. Professor Sunstein will argue that as a matter of history, the Second Amendment probably does not create an individual right, because it was designed to protect state militias. Modern readers have immense difficulty in recovering the original meaning, because our circumstances are radically different from those of the founding. He will also argue, however, that the Court should not reject an individual right, in part because the nation is so polarized. The discussion will have many implications for constitutional interpretation and the role of the Court in political life."

October 26, 2007

David Currie, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago Law School, passed away on October 15, 2007. In honor of his life and work, we present this unique recording of his reading of the United States Constitution. The recording was made on April 26 and May 5, 2006 at the studios of WHPK at the University of Chicago and post-production was done at the Digital Media Lab at the University of Chicago in May of 2006. The studio engineer was Patrick Reisinger and the post-production engineer was Luis-Manuel Garcia.

October 19, 2007

Geoffrey Stone is Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded October 1, 2007 at the University Club in Chicago, as the annual "First Monday" lecture. © 2007 The University of Chicago.

August 5, 2007

Emily Buss is the Mark and Barbara Fried Professor of Law and Kanter Director of Chicago Policy Initiatives at the University of Chicago Law School. Recorded May, 2007. © 2007 The University of Chicago.

May 18, 2007

Richard Epstein is James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Recorded May 4, 2007. © 2007 The University of Chicago.