Sunday, November 26, 2017
Michael Kaufman (Loyola-Chicago), Social Justice and the American Law School Today: Since We Are Made for Love, 40 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1187 (2017):
This Article is intended to facilitate that new dialogue by finding a series of profound provocations in the Pope’s teachings. First, the Pope provokes us to consider whether our existing education and economic systems are based on an incomplete understanding of human nature. The first section contends that the understanding that human beings are by nature competitive and consumptive wealth maximizers is not only contrary to the Pope’s teachings but also contrary to the latest research in the fields of neuroscience, neuro-psychology, cognitive psychology, educational psychology, economics, and behavioral economics.
Second, the Pope provokes us to consider whether our existing education and economic systems can otherwise be justified because they are cost-effective or rooted in founding principles. The second section explains that those existing systems are neither cost-effective nor rooted in founding principles.
Third, the Pope provokes us to consider how and why the current conditions of resource inequality and environmental degradation have been produced and maintained. The third section argues that those who have benefited most from the current conditions of resource inequality and environmental degradation have exploited the mistaken views of human nature, efficiency, and founding principles to legitimate those current conditions.
Fourth, the Pope provokes us to consider what education, and particularly legal education, might look like if it were based on a complete understanding of human nature and human learning. The fourth section demonstrates that, if legal educators took seriously the Pope’s teachings, law schools would become transformative learning communities in which all members construct knowledge and build social justice together through meaningful relationships.
The Article concludes by suggesting ten ways in which law schools can develop those transformative learning communities.