Search the Lounge


« Substantial Evidence or Substantial Uncertainty? If Gender Diversity on Boards Clearly Adds Value, Then Why Are There So Few Women on Boards? | Main | Hey everyone . . . it's 1958!! »

October 15, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Mark Tushnet

There are some contexts in which the question of offensiveness is directly posed: teaching about obscenity/pornography without displaying it, risking that students will not understand what the material at issue is; teaching Cohen v. California without using the word that's at issue. I've never displayed obscene material and for quite a while I mentioned the existence of free web-sites on which such material was available without giving the urls, and I've waffled over the years about what to do about Cohen. This year I did give the web-sites' names, and probably will continue to do so, and I've settled on the practice of using the word in teaching Cohen. But these aren't easy decisions. I've found David DeWolf, Teaching Harbeson, 54 Journal of Legal Education 527 (2004), quite helpful in thinking about these issues. [Disclosure: I was a co-editor of the Journal when this article published, and regard it as one of the jewels of my tenure.]

Patrick S. O'Donnell

I don't think anyone should find "good faith" (or mala fides for that matter) offensive, as the meaning of the word "faith" is not confined to what it denotes or connotes in religious settings and discourse. One example, admittedly exotic and philosophically technical, is Sartre's notion of "bad faith," the meaning of which seems to have now extended beyond what Sartre intended yet still lacks any sort of religious implication.

Nor can I imagine anything wrong with "slavish conformity."

Some of the other expressions are perhaps a bit troubling; I no longer use "black sheep" and my familiarity with Hinduism prevents me from speaking of "sacred cows" in any but a literal way or by direct reference.

[Go Dodgers!]

John Steele

the term "chinese wall," in the legal ethics sense, isn't used much anymore in the US, due in large part to objections by asian-americans. many people felt that the term wasn't racist, but given the objection the term is nearly obsolete in the US (although it's still used in the UK and elsewhere). see:

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad