I shall argue that despite the occasional and charmingly belligerent pose struck by some economists of offering a superior alternative to conventional moral and political theory, economics is covertly parasitic on that theory. I begin in Part I by describing some of the core features of economic analysis and by disclosing my own sentiments about that analysis. The description will be terse, the disclosure partial. My aim is to identify, but certainly not pretend to resolve, some thorny methodological issues that surface in these two books. As for the disclosure, well, even if full disclosure were possible, which I doubt, I lack the time and you the patience for any such exercise. I then turn in Part II to scrutinize the authors' deployment of three central economic categories: utility, externalities, and preferences. Over and over, I shall urge, crucial work is being done offstage, not by further unstated economic arguments, but by moral and .political theory. And I'll urge further that there seems to be no viable way that a more fully selfconscious economic view could succeed in reducing those offstage principles to its own terms.
Herzog, Donald J. "Externalities and Other Parasites." Review of The Strategic Constitution, by R. D. Cooter, and Constitutional Democracy, by D. C. Mueller. U. Chi. L. Rev. 67, no. 3 (2000): 895-924.