Dilemmas of the Invisible Hand

Adrian Vermeule

in The System of the Constitution

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199838455
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932481 | DOI:
Dilemmas of the Invisible Hand

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The specific aims of this chapter are twofold. The first is to identify general conditions under which an invisible-hand justification of a given legal or political institution will succeed, in the modest sense that the justification is internally coherent and plausible (whether or not true in fact). The second aim is to identify several theoretical puzzles about invisible-hand justifications that cut across the local contexts in which such justifications are offered. These puzzles are genuine and irreducible dilemmas, which arise from the systemic structure and nature of invisible-hand reasoning: dilemma of norms; dilemma of second best; and dilemma of verification.

Keywords: invisible-hand justification; dilemma of norms; dilemma of second best; dilemma of verification

Chapter.  10879 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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