Friday, May 15, 2015

Thank you (Again) Brian Leiter

There's a JD/PhD working at University of Chicago Law School named Brian Leiter. He specializes in philosophy of law and Nietzsche, and for a while was a sort of gatekeeper for the Philosophy field due to his ratings of philosophy departments. While his importance in that role has recently declined, he also has a long history of internet belligerence and public dustups. He may be why you are  here visiting my blog since he has lately focused some of his anger on me and has twice mentioned my name in the last few months. I won't bother trying to psychoanalyze his obsessions, nor to document his issues and disagreements (all of which can be gleaned from some of the links in this post, and by a casual search of the web) but simply take this opportunity to thank you Brian Leiter, for helping to bring some notice to my web pages and work in philosophy -- again, especially now that the 2d Edition of Who Owns You is available on Amazon, iTunes, and soon in bookstores near you.

I've noticed a fair amount of increased interest in my personal web page and this blog (probably by people looking to confirm an un-cited-to claim about my stand on an issue relevant to a professor in philosophy - a stand I never took, as I merely tried to correct some misperceptions about the nature of tenure given I worked in that area of the law when I was employed in the NY Attorney General's office). Doubtless those who searched out my statements on that case are puzzled as to why Leiter would mention me by name - I did muse on his own stand on the case. I have no answer for that other than the guy seems obsessed and consumed by vendettas. He has been proven wrong in his judgment about my foresight and abilities of analysis of the justice of gene patents, I was more or less vindicated by a sweeping change in the law, and the rest is history. The Second Edition documents the arguments I made, their applicability to the current legal scheme, and the errors of those who for so long supported a practice which I am glad to see stopped in the USA.

In the new edition, which includes a foreword by Kevin Noonan of (who is a friendly and an honest critic of my arguments even now), I elaborate on the Myriad case, which began after the first edition was published, and offered an exciting opportunity to track the relevance of public philosophical debate. The case surprised many in the patent bar, but anyone who pays attention to the logical arguments about the nature of "isolated" genes vs. those that are part of the genome would not be surprised. The unanimous Supreme Court decision was entirely logical, the legal landscape has been made more logical and predictable, and in this edition I added some materials proposing a general ontology of discovery and invention that helps to make sense of the new state of the law for applicability in the future.

I'll have a lot more to say in the near future on patent reform in general which I think is at a critical crossroads, but in the meantime, and once again, thank you Brian Leiter, for keeping my name in the blogosphere, and helping to draw attention to my work. Keep it up and I may feel obliged to give you a cut of the royalties.  

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