It's hot off the press--a celebration of Illinois Law's own Professor Michael Moore! Oxford University Press has just distributed to bookstores around the globe the festschrift volume Legal, Moral, and Metaphysical Truths: The Philosophy of Michael S. Moore, co-edited by Kimberly Kessler Ferzan, the Harrison Robertson Professor of Law and Caddell and Chapman Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, and Stephen J. Morse, the Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell Professor of Law, Professor of Psychology, and Associate Director of the Center for Neuroscience & Society at the University of Pennsylvania.
The book's jacket summarizes the volume as follows: "Comprising essays by leading scholars, this volume discusses and challenges the work of Michael Moore in the major areas where he has made a lasting contribution, namely, law, morality, metaphysics, psychiatry, and neuroscience. The volume begins with a riveting contribution by Heidi Hurd, wherein she takes an unadorned and unabashed look at the man behind this monumental body of work, full of both triumphs and sadness. A number of essays focus on Moore's view of the purpose and justification of the criminal law, specifically his endorsement of retributivism and legal moralism. The book then addresses Moore's work on the various aspects of the general part of the criminal law, including Moore's position on how to understand criminal acts of double jeopardy purposes, Moore's claim that accomplice liability is superfluous, Moore's views about the culpability of negligence, and the relationship between that view and proximate causation... Also discussed are features of morality, and Moore's work in general jurisprudence. Finally, Moore concludes the volume with an essay that defends and delineates the features of his views."
Kimberly Ferzan writes in her part of the Editors' Introduction: "Over the years, one truth I have had to face is that part of the reason that [Moore] manages the taxonomizing, systematizing, and other discipline-resolving that he does is that he is just smarter than many of us mere mortals. Anyone who has attended a conference with him has witnessed with awe that moment when Michael deftly summarizes what appeared to be an hour of scattered discussion. I used to think that was just what senior scholars did until another senior scholar remarked to me how tremendous it was that Michael can do this because he is so absurdly smart. So, maybe I'll never leap tall disciplines in a single bound, as he does. Though, I maintain, we should all try... ."
In support of Ferzan's assessment, Stephen Morse tells the following story in his part of the Editors' Introduction: "A few years ago, a philosopher in Aachen, Germany, organized at the local university a conference to celebrate Michael's causation book. The invited speakers were luminaries from Germany, England, and other places. The format was for each speaker to present their paper, which Michael had not seen previously, for about 45 minutes, followed by Michael's response and then some general discussion. Most of the papers were technical and difficult. . . . Recall that Michael was hearing these presentations for the first time. The generic Moorean response went as follows: "[Polite thank you.] Your paper makes three major arguments, each of which has three sub-arguments. Let's take them in turn." Then, in perfect sentences and paragraphs, with no misspeaking or empty interjections, Michael would dissect the paper, after having offered the presenter a better organization and argument structure than the presenter realized he had. This was true of Michael's response to every paper. At the end of the day, the obviously bedazzled organizer came up to me and asked, "Is Michael always this good?" I mused for a second and responded straightfaced, that no, he's usually much better but he's jet-lagged after the long flight from Australia. The poor organizer had no idea whether I was kidding or serious. By the end of the two-and-a-half days of exactly the same extraordinary level of Moorean performance, the organizer knew that I had been dead serious."
Full version of the Editors' Introduction and Illinois Law Professor Heidi Hurd's opening biographical chapter, entitled "Living with Genius: The Life and Work of Michael S. Moore."