BLHS-352 Business Law
Fall for 2017-2018
The course on Business Law challenges the conventional wisdom, still practiced in business, medical and other professional fields, that all things legal are better left for the lawyers to handle.
Contrary to this bounded view of knowledge, the Business Law course recognizes, rather than shuns, the reality that laws are critical and inescapable in all aspects of our dealings with one another and, on that basis alone, merit understanding rather than dismissal.
This is particularly true in American democratic society, mankind's biggest and longest continuing effort to use laws not only to compel conduct and exert control but, also, to accomplish the opposite -- that is, to restrain public and private imposition of force and, by deduction, thereby maximize choice, freedom, open markets and ultimately, productivity.
This choice-based approach, now in only its second century and still the minority mindset on earth, has proven superior over the force-based societies of all previous times and places, to optimize economic growth, stability and sustainability, and has made us rethink the entire role of management in all group settings including governments, businesses, organizations and families.
To understand this evolution, our class will need to compress and distill a broad range of data, thinking and knowledge (including 3 years of law school training) into a single semester of class. No doubt a huge, daunting and perhaps impossible mission.
But our approach allows us to attempt something law school does not -- that is, to identify recurring themes, problems and solutions that cut across and reach beyond conventional legal, social and cultural disciplines.
In much the same way that search engines such as Google have exposed the flaws and fallacies of old-world classification and boundary systems, and replaced them with data that transcends established hierarchies, this course seeks to use new information sources, data, and technology to both test conventional wisdoms and discover new identities that better define, explain and predict behavior and outcomes in groups of all sizes and types.
By understanding these identities and how to evaluate them, we will then be better equipped to understand how to follow, enforce and make laws in the groups we ourselves inhabit and manage.
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