May 18, 2010
Professor Pierre Schlag is the winner of Colorado Law’s 2010 Jules Milstein Scholarship Award for his award-winning article is The Dedifferentiation Problem, 42 Continental Philosophy 35 (2009).The article demonstrates that our more sophisticated theories of law lead us to a point where we are no longer able to distinguish law from culture, or society, or the market, or politics or anything of the sort. Not only are the various terms inextricably intertwined (something that other thinkers have observed) but we are no longer in a position to articulate any relations between these various terms at all. It is with this latter realization that the dedifferentiation problem kicks in. Because the various terms cannot be disentangled, we find ourselves in the odd position where there is nothing of any positive character to be said about their relations. Each is already the other and, thus, they can have no relation. This is rather bad news for the ways in which we have traditionally conceived theories of law—indeed any theory that gets off the ground by distinguishing law from a discrete something else (which, on first glance, would seem to include all legal theory).Jules Milstein Scholarship Award is given to Colorado Law faculty for a substantial published work that best demonstrates excellence in legal scholarship. Congratulations to Pierre! And thanks to the many others whose excellent works were nominated for this award.