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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Why We Don't Understand The Rule Of Law Or Explaining The Rule Of Law: A Practice In Search Of A Theory, Noel B. Reynolds Jun 2010

Why We Don't Understand The Rule Of Law Or Explaining The Rule Of Law: A Practice In Search Of A Theory, Noel B. Reynolds

Noel B Reynolds

This lecture summarizes the main attempts to formulate an understanding of rule of law among legal theorists and explains why they fail to account for the real experience of law. It also explains key characteristics of law that need to be recognized in an adequate account of the rule of law.


The Union Of Legal And Political Theory, Noel B. Reynolds Feb 2010

The Union Of Legal And Political Theory, Noel B. Reynolds

Noel B Reynolds

This paper explores the social science concept of conventions as a way of understanding law that would bridge the enduring gap between natural law and legal positivist legal theories. It further finds in the conventionalist approach a promising account of the rule of law—both in how it may be characterized and in how it can be assessed in particular legal systems.


The Rule Of Law: A Reassessment For The Twenty-First Century, Noel B. Reynolds Jan 2002

The Rule Of Law: A Reassessment For The Twenty-First Century, Noel B. Reynolds

Noel B Reynolds

This brief radio address attempts to explain the origins of American liberty and to assess its health at the beginning of the 21st century. The notion of rule of law and the emerging science of constitutionalism enabled America’s founding generation to establish a system of political liberty that continues to stand as a model for all human societies to pursue.


Legal Theory And The Rule Of Law, Noel B. Reynolds Dec 2001

Legal Theory And The Rule Of Law, Noel B. Reynolds

Noel B Reynolds

In "Legal Theory and the Rule of Law" Noel Reynolds maintains that the rule of law can be understood as a set of conditions that rational actors would impose on any authority they would create to act in their stead in creating and administering legally binding rules. The authority and obligation associated with law derive from this fundamental convention, and the principles of the rule of law are the conditions of that agreement, which become thereby governing principles to which legislatures, judges, and enforcement agencies can be held in their official actions. These generally recognized standards are inherent in this ...


Thomas Hobbes's "A Discourse Of Laws", Noel B. Reynolds Aug 1994

Thomas Hobbes's "A Discourse Of Laws", Noel B. Reynolds

Noel B Reynolds

The recent discovery that an anonymously published 1620 essay was an early writing of Thomas Hobbes invites investigation of his early thinking. Hobbes relied on mostly classical sources to advance a basically conventionalist theory of law and to anticipate twentieth century analyses of the principles of rule of law such as those made famous by F. A. Hayek and Michael Oakeshott.


The Separation Of Law And Morals, Noel Reynolds Nov 1986

The Separation Of Law And Morals, Noel Reynolds

Noel B Reynolds

The classic opposition of legal positivism and natural law theory resurfaces continually and reminds us that we have yet to resolve this key conflict in our ways of understanding the moral authority of law. The strengths and weaknesses of the two theories are reviewed—both have fatal flaws. Conventionalism is proposed as a means of finding internal standards in a man-made system of law. The naturally emerging standards for a conventionalist system of law turn out to be the already familiar principles of the rule of law.


Hume And His Critics--Reid And Kames, Noel B. Reynolds May 1986

Hume And His Critics--Reid And Kames, Noel B. Reynolds

Noel B Reynolds

This presentation was in response to Kenneth MacKinnon’s defense of Thomas Reid’s preference for natural virtue against David Hume’s conventionalism in his theory of law. It is argued that because Hume’s legal theory follows easily from his theory of human nature, Reid and Kames—and MacKinnon—need to refute Hume at that level to be successful in their rejection of his conventionalism.


Morality And The Rule Of Law, Noel Reynolds May 1986

Morality And The Rule Of Law, Noel Reynolds

Noel B Reynolds

This paper lays out the logic of a conservative view of liberty and morality based on an understanding of human nature as both social and rational on the one hand, and radically individual and self-seeking on the other. Without public virtue, a people cannot govern itself as a free people. But neither virtue nor moral truth can be legislated. The rule of law under constitutionalism is the most successful human arrangement for providing freedom and allowing moral action on the part of individuals.


The Doctrine Of The Rule Of Law In The Twentieth Century., Noel B. Reynolds, Dennis Jensen Dec 1984

The Doctrine Of The Rule Of Law In The Twentieth Century., Noel B. Reynolds, Dennis Jensen

Noel B Reynolds

The concept of rule of law has been recognized repeatedly in twentieth century political and philosophical discussion, but with a constantly shifting meaning. In this paper we document most of the serious contributions to thought about rule of law before 1985 as a background to further work on the topic.


George Orwell: Socialist Or Liberal? Big Brother And The Abuse Of Power, Noel B. Reynolds Jun 1984

George Orwell: Socialist Or Liberal? Big Brother And The Abuse Of Power, Noel B. Reynolds

Noel B Reynolds

For although he was too strongly independent in his thinking to accept the Marxist or socialist dogmas of his associates, because they did not seem to square with experience, and though he admired the tough resistance of English character and legal institutions to tyranny, Orwell never did tumble to the understanding of man and government which had shaped each over the centuries. Failing to see the constants in human nature as the key to the political problem, he looked around the world both as he perceived it and his literary fellows portrayed it, and concluded that power lust was the ...


The Challenge Of Socialist Thought, Noel B. Reynolds Sep 1982

The Challenge Of Socialist Thought, Noel B. Reynolds

Noel B Reynolds

This presentation points to socialists’ mistaken assumptions of a malleable and perfectible human nature as an insuperable reason for the inevitable failure of socialist systems. It also points to socialist and liberal dependence on declarations of human rights as ineffective protections for human freedom—protections which can only be maintained in constitutionalist systems with deeper structural safeguards against tyranny