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Abstract

What is corruption? Unless one takes an absolute (and hard to defend) view of words’ meanings—there is a fixed meaning, it cannot differ—this question can mean different things. What has it meant in the past? What has it meant to judges? What social function does the word play? Does it have any meaning at all, or is it just another word for a different idea? Does the meaning it had historically have any coherence? Does the meaning it has now have any coherence? What do most people think it means? What do most scholars think, or most lawyers, or most U.S. Supreme Court Justices?

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