Constitutionalism: The Philosophical Dimension

Constitutionalism: The Philosophical Dimension

Constitutionalism: The Philosophical Dimension

Constitutionalism: The Philosophical Dimension

Synopsis

"An excellent sampling of current thinking in the theory and practice of constitutionalism. Each essay was written specifically for this volume by well-known legal and political philosophers. . . . All in all, a first-rate and provocative example of contemporary philosophical concerns." Choice

Excerpt

This collection of essays is intended to be an enduring, scholarly commemoration of the bicentennial of the Constitution of the United States. The distinguished contributors give testimony in their writings to the high regard they have for a "critical" clarification and amplification of a philosophical understanding of the American Constitution and of the idea of constitutionalism in general.

Each of these papers has been written specifically for this volume. In addition, all contributors have a well-established expertise in the areas their respective chapters cover.

The topics and classical philosophers' views examined in this volume were selected mainly on the basis of what would likely be of greatest current interest to professional philosophers and to the philosophically minded scholar. Undoubtedly, certain themes of special concern to many prospective readers have been only peripherally discussed or deliberately omitted, such as systematic explorations of the Bill of Rights; federalism; "judicial restraint" (or "activism"); differences between rules, principles, and policies (in the context of judicial discretion). This is so because they are the more usual focus of recently published reflections on issues concerning constitutionalist thought in America. The editor does not regard these themes as any less significant than those chosen. Rather, the intention is to concentrate upon areas of compelling philosophical inquiry relating to con-

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