Skip to main content
Unpublished Paper
From Pyramids to Stories: Cognitive Reconstruction of Local Government Authority
ExpressO (2012)
  • John Martinez

This article describes a cognitive science approach to law, uses it to critically evaluate conventional "pyramid" legal analysis of local government authority, and suggests stories as alternative models for defining such authority. The article suggests that stories better reveal what is at stake in regard to local government authority and thus helps us to arrive at better solutions. The article illustrates the storytelling analytical approach in three situations: a local government's condemnation of private property for resale to a private developer, the delegation of land use control authority to neighborhood groups, and local government attempts to zone out nontraditional families.

  • cognitive science,
  • chaos theory,
  • local government authority,
  • nontraditional families,
  • eminent domain,
  • zoning,
  • public purpose,
  • delegation doctrine
Publication Date
September 14, 2012
Citation Information
John Martinez. "From Pyramids to Stories: Cognitive Reconstruction of Local Government Authority" ExpressO (2012)
Available at: