Review Of "Slices And Lumps: Division And Aggregation In Law And Life" By L. A. Fennell

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This is a wonderfully inventive and imaginative book. Things are "lumpy" when indivisible. Things are "slicey" when they would be more useful if divided up than they would be if whole. For example, slicing the hours on a job into thirds with a third less pay might provide greater total good for three individuals than full-time hours with full-time pay would for one. Using examples that are both sophisticated and commonplace, Fennell (Univ. of Chicago Law School) argues that a significant challenge of the present time—when technological innovation is progressing at breakneck speed—is using necessity and opportunity to reconfigure the future. Fennell goes into depth in showing that division and aggregation are rife in the law and in considering policy, whether social or individual. She shows that the law has sometimes stumbled—sometimes for the good, sometimes not—in addressing slices and lumps. The author provides a detailed discussion of eminent domain law, and she shows how thinking carefully about slicing or lumping things can make for good or bad law. Those interested in law and economics, or law and social policy more generally, will appreciate this volume, as will those interested in social philosophy. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.


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