When discussing justice, it helps us to look at our legal institutions from outside the narrow, closed circle in which most of us operate most of the time or believe we operate. Part of the problem is that all of our legal institutions and much of our rationality are the products of an evolution that is only several thousand years old. But we have a set of instincts and a neurological system that have evolved over more than a million and a half years. Human beings became human and they still live in the shadow of the cave. Our instinct remains to draw the line against chaos. That line is the line to which the light of our small, comforting fire reaches--the line beyond which there be Tigers, there be Cavebears, there be all those other demon races. Yet stories about what lurks beyond the line turn out to be stories about ourselves. Maybe we should pay more attention to them. Maybe that would help to broaden our conceptions of justice.


The Justice Mission of American Law Schools