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So here’s my contribution to a symposium on “originalism” as the mode of interpreting the Constitution that facilitates the maximization of the libertarian value of “negative liberty.” Everyone else in the symposium operates on a higher pay grade than I do when it comes to really knowing all about the controversies in the field of constitutional law right now. There’s…

Some astronomers think that a great, even infinite, number of universes are floating about somewhere out there in space. These worlds, with no real evidence, to be sure, are said to exist in addition to the one in which most of us have but temporary residence. The universe we do find ourselves in does seem vast enough for the purposes…

Aquinas’ definition of law is very brief and straight-forward. Most lawyers and even college students will at least have heard tell of it. It reads: “Law is an ordination of reason, by the proper authority, for the common good, and promulgated.” Many things are stated and implied in this brief, compact sentence.
When each of these four elements of the definition…

The history of political philosophy is the history of education. Its content, its prospects, its goals—all receive copious attention, from Plato’s Republic to the Scholastics, from Locke and Rousseau to Nietzsche and Rawls.[1]  For education is a central concern to any political community, doing much to form the character, not only of citizens, but of the polity itself.
Among the less…

Justice as Friendship: A Theory of Law. Seow Hon Tan. Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2015.
 
The field of study delineated by the theory of law is among the most relevant of philosophic disciplines given the proliferation of both legislative judicial review and quasi-judicial administrative tribunals, but is also rather derivative, drawing heavily on more general philosophic positions such as positivism,…

The Protestant Reformation has been cited by scholars of European history as contributing to the rise of nationalism, individualism, capitalism, and secularism but not to the development of law, institutions, and legal science (23).1 Contrary to the current scholarship, Berman contended that these phenomena—nationalism, individualism, capitalism, and secularism—emerged after the decline of Protestant (and Roman Catholic) Christianity in the nineteenth…

The Nature of the Law is Eric Voegelin’s comprehensive and systematic account of law as a mature thinker, when he realized that law’s historical existence is inextricably bound to that of society. Rejecting the positivist approach towards law, such as Hans Kelsen’s “pure law” theory, Voegelin adopts the Aristotelian method according to which one begins with ordinary discourse about law…

The Ought is not itself a "postulate" or a "norm" but the experienced tension between the order of being and the conduct of man. In the orbit of this tension, rules concerning social order are more than empirical observations concerning regularities of ac­tion. Since the problem of order is precisely the tension between empirical conduct and true order, legal rules,…