Fooled By the Monkeys

Some people think that empirical legal scholars produce a disproportionate amount of mediocre work.  The claim is (on its own terms) somewhat difficult to falsify.   I tend to think that empirical work gets a bad rap because it can be difficult to evaluate (the black-box problem) and because errors (when they occur) are embarrassingly public.  This story on data-collection by the populizer of moral organs provides some evidence for the latter hypothesis. As it turns out, monkey coding seems like even a harder task than coding dockets.

Not incidentally, the news story provides another opportunity to plug the cultural cognition project’s screed against punishment naturalism.

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