We are all familiar with the peculiar feeling of coming across one's past objectified, as when one overhears others telling how they perceived a certain event in which one played the hero's role. Reading the contributions to this issue was a bit like that. In particular, it made me realise how I have abused the tolerant paper by writing all too much, while leaving so many hostages to fortune, so many loose ends, and expressing so many half-baked ideas. It is also embarrassing because it is like a summons to the confessional, to repent my sins of omission and commission, and to recant. I'll do a certain amount of that, while declining the invitation to undertake a thorough character reform.
I should probably be more repentant than I am. Given more time to cogitate, I would probably come to realise a greater need to modify my views than will be evident from this reply, for it is only a preliminary reaction to the many careful and thoughtful points made by the contributors to this symposium. At times my comments are tentative. At times I will overlook points which require careful considerations. In all cases I strove to see for this I take to be my responsibility whether the essential position I advanced in the past could be defended. But its defence requires recognition that some views I have put forward were more peripheral than others, and some were less well considered than others.
Happily, the criticism addressed at me tends to be concentrated around a number of central issues. I will try to focus my reply on the essential points raised by these criticisms. My reply is just that. I make no attempt to comment on the many rich ideas presented and suggestions made in the various articles, but merely respond to the criticism of my work within them.
Center for Law and Philosophy
Facing Up: A Reply,
S. Cal. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/757