75 B.U. L. Rev. 1441 (1995)
Simple Rules and the Perils of Reductionist Legal Thought

handle is hein.journals/bulr75 and id is 1455 raw text is: BOOK REVIEW
SIMPLE RULES AND THE PERILS OF REDUCTIONIST
LEGAL THOUGHT
SIMPLE RULES FOR A COMPLEX WORLD
By Richard A. Epstein.*
Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1995.
Pp. xiv, 350. $35.00.
Reviewed by Eric W Orts**
Everything should be made as simple as possible, said Albert Ein-
stein, but not simpler.'1 This aphorism captures both the major strength
and the major weakness of Professor Richard A. Epstein's Simple Rules
for a Complex World.2 The book shows how economic analysis can con-
tribute to public decisionmaking, but Epstein does not heed Einstein's
warning. His simple rules often oversimplify our society and the legal
system that reflects it.
Simple Rules for a Complex World is significant because of the light it
throws on Professor Epstein's prolific and influential work.3 It is also an
* James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago Law
School.
** Nelson Peltz Term Assistant Professor of Legal Studies, The Wharton School,
University of Pennsylvania. For very helpful comments, I thank Tom Dunfee, Dan
Farber, Susan Freiwald, Fred Schauer, Tony Sebok, Richard Shell, Alan Strudler, and
Aidan Synnott. For research assistance, I thank Pandora Kazeppis.
1 The saying is quoted in William Safire, Stylish Books and Koobs, N.Y. TIMES,
Aug. 20, 1995,  6 (Magazine), at 18; see also THE NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY
OF QUOTATIONS 281 (Hugh Rawson & Margaret Miner eds., 1986).
2 RICHARD A. EPSTEIN, SIMPLE RULES FOR A COMPLEX WORLD (1995) [hereinaf-
ter SIMPLE RULES].
3 Professor Epstein refers in the book to the highlights of his impressive bibliogra-
phy, including: RICHARD A. EPSTEIN, BARGAINING WITH THE STATE (1993); RICH-
ARD A. EPSTEIN, FORBIDDEN GROUNDS: THE CASE AGAINST EMPLOYMENT DIS-
CRIMINATION LAWS (1992); RICHARD A. EPSTEIN, TAKINGS: PRIVATE PROPERTY AND
THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN (1985); RICHARD A. EPSTEIN, MODERN PRODUCTS
LIABILITY LAW (1980); Richard A. Epstein, On the Optimal Mix of Common and
Private Property, 11 Soc. PHIL. & POL'Y 1 (1994); Richard A. Epstein, The Path to
The T.J. Hooper: The Theory and History of Custom in the Law of Tort, 21 J. LEGAL
STUD. 1 (1992); Richard A. Epstein, The Utilitarian Foundations of Natural Law, 12
1441

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