Law and philosophy, science and happiness

Michael Salter and Susan Twist (Central Lancashire): The Micro-Sovereignty of Discretion in Legal Decision-Making: Carl Schmitt’s Critique of Liberal Principles of Legality; and a review of Questioning Sovereignty: Law, State, and Nation in the European Commonwealth by Neil MacCormick. From TNR, Mark Lilla reviews Alexis de Tocqueville: A Life by Hugh Brogan. From Telos, Russell Berman on Intellectuals and Power, and an article on the inspiring power of the shy thinker: Richard Rorty. From Forward, a look at What Rorty Wrought. A review of The Parallax View by Slavoj Zizek. An interview with Gerald J. Russello, author of The Postmodern Imagination of Russell Kirk.

From New Statesman, a review of Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia by John Gray. From Ovi, an essay on Teihlard De Chardin on the evolution of Man (and part 2). We will never explain the cosmos by taking on faith either divinity or physical laws. True meaning is to be found within nature. Are we alone in the vastness of space? Or is the universe filled with life? After thousands of years of guesswork, humankind may soon know for sure. Cosmic mood-swings: Why human psychology will make sending people to Mars hard. The Asteroid Hunters: Backyard astronomers keep watch against Armageddon.

From CRB, Ramesh Ponnuru reviews Challenging Nature: The Clash of Science and Spirituality at the New Frontiers of Life by Lee M. Silver. Scientists could create the first new form of artificial life within months after a landmark breakthrough in which they turned one bacterium into another, and create embryonic stem cells by stimulating unfertilized eggs, a significant step toward producing transplant tissue that's genetically matched to women. It's not all the parent's fault: Delinquency in children now linked to biology. Brain Boosters: Enter the new world of neuroenhancers and have your brain zapped with electricity and dosed with chemicals.

David Weisbach (Chicago): What Does Happiness Research Tell Us About Happiness? Clive James on how there are lots of reasons to be cheerful about the world, many the result of human creativity - the difficulty is remembering not to be miserable. Darrin McMahon on Nanoseconds of Happiness: You're going to love your iPhone, until the next gizmo calls. Can happiness be quantified? An article on number-crunching satisfaction and desire. Michael Dirda reviews Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours by Noga Arikha (and more).