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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Judging Well, Francis J. Mootz Iii Jan 2019

Judging Well, Francis J. Mootz Iii

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

Can judges interpret the law in a manner that is objectively verifiable, or do judges necessarily – even if unconsciously – inject their own predispositions and biases into their decisions? It is difficult to decide whether such a question is frivolous in the post-Realist age, or whether it is the is the single most important question that we can ask about our legal system. I endorse both responses. The question, as phrased, is both vitally important and unanswerable on its own terms. Rather than seeking an elusive objective standard by which to measure the correctness of “a judgment,” I argue that we ...


Law Without Absolutes: Toward A Pragmatic Science Of Law, Jd Hsin Jan 2017

Law Without Absolutes: Toward A Pragmatic Science Of Law, Jd Hsin

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

Although today the very idea of a science of law—the thought that law could be made a science like any other taught and studied at a modern university—has the ring of an oxymoron, this piece argues that the rejection of legal science was not only overhasty but unnecessary. There is a sense in which we can see law as a science, it argues, but only once we come to see more clearly and accurately just why the tradition of legal science begun in the earliest days of the Western legal tradition and brought to America by Christopher Columbus ...


The Return Of The Self, Or Whatever Happened To Postmodern Jurisprudence, Stephen M. Feldman Jan 2017

The Return Of The Self, Or Whatever Happened To Postmodern Jurisprudence, Stephen M. Feldman

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

Postmodern jurisprudence was all the rage in the 1990s. Two of the most renowned postmodernists, Stanley Fish and Pierre Schlag, both persistently criticized mainstream legal scholars for believing they were modernist selves—independent, sovereign, and autonomous agents who could remake the social and legal world merely by writing a law review article. Then Fish and Schlag turned on each other. Each attacked the other for making the same mistake: harboring a modernist self. I revisit this skirmish for two reasons. First, it helps explain the current moribund state of postmodern jurisprudence. If two of the leading postmodernists could not avoid ...


Confucian Jurisprudence, Dworkin, And Hard Cases, Norman P. Ho Jan 2017

Confucian Jurisprudence, Dworkin, And Hard Cases, Norman P. Ho

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

This Article argues that Confucian jurisprudence can accurately be analogized to Dworkin’s adjudicative theory of law, in particular, his interpretive theory of law. To more effectively reveal the methods of Confucian jurisprudence and therefore carry out a comparison with Dworkin’s interpretive theory of law, this article adopts Dworkin’s methodology of focusing on “hard cases.” Specifically, this article identifies and then examines an actual hard case (from Tang dynasty China) which is arguably representative of Confucian jurisprudence in action – the controversial case of Xu Yuanqing, who committed a revenge killing against a low-ranking official who had killed his ...


Wittgenstein’S Poker: Contested Constitutionalism And The Limits Of Public Meaning Originalism, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2017

Wittgenstein’S Poker: Contested Constitutionalism And The Limits Of Public Meaning Originalism, Ian C. Bartrum

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

Constitutional originalism is much in the news as our new President fills the Supreme Court vacancy Antonin Scalia’s death has created. “Public meaning” originalism is probably the most influential version of originalism in current theoretical circles. This essay argues that, while these “New Originalists” have thoughtfully escaped some of the debilitating criticisms leveled against their predecessors, the result is a profoundly impoverished interpretive methodology that has little to offer most modern constitutional controversies. In particular, the fact that our constitutional practices are contested—that is, we often do not seek semantic or legal agreement—makes particular linguistic indeterminacies highly ...


Criminal Responsibility And Causal Determinism, J. G. Moore Jan 2016

Criminal Responsibility And Causal Determinism, J. G. Moore

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

In analytical jurisprudence, determinism has long been seen as a threat to free will, and free will has been considered necessary for criminal responsibility. Accordingly, Oliver Wendell Holmes held that if an offender were hereditarily or environmentally determined to offend, then her free will would be reduced, and her responsibility for criminal acts would be correspondingly diminished. In this respect, Holmes followed his father, Dr. Holmes, a physician and man of letters. Similar theories, such as neuropsychological theories of determinism, continue to influence views on criminal responsibility, although such theories do not imply that it is physically impossible for accused ...


Can Law Be A Source Of Insight For Other Academic Disciplines?, Stephen M. Feldman Jan 2016

Can Law Be A Source Of Insight For Other Academic Disciplines?, Stephen M. Feldman

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

Law has been a borrower but not a supplier. Law schools, in effect, have been located on one-way streets, with ideas flowing in but nothing going out. This essay is intended to begin a dialogue that could change the one-way streets between law schools and other university departments into two-way streets. I want to demonstrate that legal and jurisprudential studies can be a source of ideas for scholars in other fields. In particular, this essay argues that the legal concept of the burden of proof can illuminate disputes between theorists of modernism and postmodernism.


Kant’S Categorical Imperative And Mandatory Minimum Sentencing, Craig Turner Jan 2016

Kant’S Categorical Imperative And Mandatory Minimum Sentencing, Craig Turner

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

Deterrence-based punishment systems are scattered throughout history, and exist in the American legal system today. One such method of deterrence prescribes mandatory punishments for violations of certain crimes, without regarding to underlying circumstances or an assessment of the the individual accused of such crimes. These types of sentencing requirements restrict judicial discretion and are designed to serve as an example for other would-be offenders. While perhaps justifiable under a utilitarian code of ethics, mandatory minimums are morally suspect when assessed through the lens Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative.

The fundamental premise of the second formulation of Kant’s Categorical Imperative ...


Cruel And Unusual What? Toward A Unified Definition Of Punishment, Raff Donelson Jan 2016

Cruel And Unusual What? Toward A Unified Definition Of Punishment, Raff Donelson

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

This Article argues for an expanded understanding of legal punishment for American courts to use. Punishment, on this new view, includes all significant harm caused by state actors’ retributive intent and most significant harm that befalls someone as a result of the state seeking retribution against her. What commends this new definition is not that it tracks lexicographers’ or metaphysicians’ understandings of punishment; rather, this new definition aims to track relevant moral and political considerations. Importantly, the proposed definition results from an attempt to reason from the perspective of someone harmed by state practices, as that perspective has greater moral ...


Two Dogmas Of Originalism, Ian Bartrum Jan 2015

Two Dogmas Of Originalism, Ian Bartrum

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

In the early 1950s, Willlard Quine’s Two Dogmas of Empiricism offered a devastating critique of logical positivism and the effort to distinguish “science” from “metaphysics.” Quine demonstrated that the positivists relied on dogmatic oversimplifications of both the world and human practices, and, in the end, suggested that our holistic natural experience cannot be reduced to purely logical explanations. In this piece, I argue that constitutional originalism—which, too, seeks to define a constitutional “science”—relies on similar dogmatisms. In particular, I contend that the “fixation thesis,” which claims that the constitutional judge’s first task is to fix the ...


The Ontological Foundations Of The Debate Over Originalism, André Leduc Jan 2015

The Ontological Foundations Of The Debate Over Originalism, André Leduc

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

Because the participants in the debate over constitutional originalism generally understand the controversy to be over a matter of the objective truth of competing interpretations of the Constitution, they do not believe that their mission is to persuade the other side. When what is at stake is a matter of objective truth, subjective opinions are of less moment.

This Article begins the long overdue transcendence of our increasingly fruitless and acrimonious debate over originalism by articulating the tacit philosophical premises that make the debate possible. It demonstrates that originalism, despite its pretensions to common sense and its disavowal of abstruse ...


On The Conceptual Confusions Of Jurisprudence, Aaron J. Rappaport Nov 2014

On The Conceptual Confusions Of Jurisprudence, Aaron J. Rappaport

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Rationality, Legitimacy, & The Law, Daniel Z. Epstein Nov 2014

Rationality, Legitimacy, & The Law, Daniel Z. Epstein

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

American legal realism was committed to examining legal reasoning in terms of the actual experiences of judges. Because the realist project sought to use social science tools to examine human nature, the contemporary rise of cognitive neuroscience provides an occasion for re-examining legal realism’s foundational critique of the law. Realism’s attempt to examine “the actual facts of judicial behavior” and to pursue a “scientific description and prediction of judicial behavior” appears to be a suitable vehicle for considering the relevance of cognitive neuroscience for legal theory. Cognitive neuroscience has provided convincing evidence for rejecting the traditional bifurcation between ...


Ethos, Pathos, And Logos: The Benefits Of Aristotelian Rhetoric In The Courtroom, Krista C. Mccormack Nov 2014

Ethos, Pathos, And Logos: The Benefits Of Aristotelian Rhetoric In The Courtroom, Krista C. Mccormack

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Putting Progress Back Into Progressive: Reclaiming A Philosophy Of History For The Constitution, David Aram Kaiser Jan 2014

Putting Progress Back Into Progressive: Reclaiming A Philosophy Of History For The Constitution, David Aram Kaiser

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Confined To A Narrative: Approaching Rape Shield Laws Through Legal Narratology, Kathryn C. Swiss Jan 2014

Confined To A Narrative: Approaching Rape Shield Laws Through Legal Narratology, Kathryn C. Swiss

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Reconstructing Constitutional Punishment, Paulo Barrozo Jan 2014

Reconstructing Constitutional Punishment, Paulo Barrozo

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

Constitutional orders punish—and they punish abundantly. However, analysis of the constitutionality of punishment tends to be reactive, focusing on constitutional violations. Considered in this light, the approach to constitutional punishment rests on conditions of unconstitutionality rather than proactively on the constitutional foundations of punishment as a legitimate liberal-democratic practice. Reactive approaches are predominantly informed by moral theories about the conditions under which punishment is legitimate. In contrast, proactive approaches call for a political theory of punishment as a legitimate practice of polities. This Article integrates the reactive and proactive approaches by bridging the divide between moral and political theories ...


Holding The Bench Accountable: Judges Qua Representatives, John L. Warren Iii Jan 2014

Holding The Bench Accountable: Judges Qua Representatives, John L. Warren Iii

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Reasonable Rage: The Problem With Stereotypes In Provocation Cases, Nicole A.K. Matlock Jan 2014

Reasonable Rage: The Problem With Stereotypes In Provocation Cases, Nicole A.K. Matlock

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


An Argument For Incentivizing Voluntary Regulation Of The Fashion And Modeling Industries, Allison Clyne Tschannen Jan 2014

An Argument For Incentivizing Voluntary Regulation Of The Fashion And Modeling Industries, Allison Clyne Tschannen

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Reflective Judgment, Determinative Judgment, And The Problem Of Particularity, Angelica Nuzzo Jan 2013

Reflective Judgment, Determinative Judgment, And The Problem Of Particularity, Angelica Nuzzo

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Kant On Teleological Thinking And Its Failures, Manfred Baum Jan 2013

Kant On Teleological Thinking And Its Failures, Manfred Baum

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


An Interest In The Impossible, Todd Kesselman Jan 2013

An Interest In The Impossible, Todd Kesselman

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


The Regress Argument In Kant, Wittgenstein, And The Pittsburgh "Pragmatists", Joseph Margolis Jan 2013

The Regress Argument In Kant, Wittgenstein, And The Pittsburgh "Pragmatists", Joseph Margolis

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Introduction, Angelica Nuzzo, David Gray Carlson Jan 2013

Introduction, Angelica Nuzzo, David Gray Carlson

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Kant On Art And Truth After Plato, Tom Rockmore Jan 2013

Kant On Art And Truth After Plato, Tom Rockmore

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


The Problem Of Purposiveness And The Objective Validity Of Judgments In Kant's Theoretical Philosophy, Rolf-Peter Horstmann Jan 2013

The Problem Of Purposiveness And The Objective Validity Of Judgments In Kant's Theoretical Philosophy, Rolf-Peter Horstmann

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Is A Determinant Judgment Really A Judgment?, Rodolphe Gasché Jan 2013

Is A Determinant Judgment Really A Judgment?, Rodolphe Gasché

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Relating Kant's Theory Of Reflective Judgment To The Law, Rudolf A. Makkreel Jan 2013

Relating Kant's Theory Of Reflective Judgment To The Law, Rudolf A. Makkreel

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Effect Precedes Cause: Kant And The Self-In-Itself, David Gray Carlson Jan 2013

Effect Precedes Cause: Kant And The Self-In-Itself, David Gray Carlson

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.