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Motivation: Seminar - Spring 2008

Spring term, Block I
T 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Professors William Fisher and Yochai Benkler
2 classroom credits LAW-97955A Spring

What prompts people to do what they do? A rapidly growing literature in several disciplines -- psychology, sociology, neuroscience, and economics -- casts new light on this age-old question. We will read deeply in that literature and then consider its implications for the design of legal, political, and economic institutions. Among those institutions will be: intellectual property; representative or participatory democracy; criminal law; contract and employment law; the organization of private firms; and decentralized, collaborative systems for producing software.

Approximately two thirds of the classes will consist of seminar-style discussions; approximately one third will consist of presentations by outside speakers.

The course is open to graduate students in all schools and departments within the university. Participants will be expected both to contribute to the discussion insights drawn from their specialties and to grapple seriously with questions and arguments drawn from disciplines far outside their zones of expertise. Each participant must prepare a substantial research paper.

2 classroom credits; 1 paper credit. Admission by permission of the instructors. (Applications for admission should be sent to Enrollment limited to 20.