The London Rev. of Books, Vol. 30, Nov. 20, 2008 at 21, reviews a study of the pre-eminent botanist of the 19th century, Joseph Hooker. The travails of Hooker and other botanists as they struggled to find a system to taxonomize plants and methodologies to classify them caused me to think of law departments. It is difficult to do something similar for law departments.
Apparently, the famed system of Linnaeus drew on only the number and arrangements of the sexual parts of flowers. It worked, and brought much consistency in naming, but the system did not flow from plants’ overall morphology – the form and structure of a plant considered as a whole.
In a second post on this topic (See my post of Nov. 24, 2008: elements to describe law departments.) I consider a more comprehensive way to take into account the morphology of law departments and describe law departments systematically. The goal is to have a systematic way to specify and compare the definitive forms and functions of law departments.
Conjoined with the difficulty of establishing a consensual terminology to describe law departments is the challenge of who has the authority to establish such a terminology. This blog offers some ideas but a robust discussion with many participants will be needed. Some day, there may be something akin to a multi-dimensional Dewey decimal system for law departments, but at this time, all I envision are several continua for law departments.