[SW] On The Value of Political Science Theories About Judging

  • From: Sean Wilson <whoooo26505@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, metalaw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxx, sworg@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2010 16:52:17 -0800 (PST)

(sent to law-courts regarding the propriety of political-science approaches to 
... On the issue of the propriety of our field's theories about Supreme Court 
judging, I offer the following.

1. When teaching students, avoid completely the idea that what "political 
science" believes about jurisprudence is something it is empirically unfolding 
in the study of  judicial behavior. Such a thing only says two things to 
students: (a) I don't know philosophy of law; and (b) I don't know philosophy 

2. Instead, collect and present whatever theories political scientists like 
against the backdrop of all such orientations. That is, present the the 
deterministic paradigm (formalism, classical legal thought, etc.); 
the bounded-rationality [Herb Simon] paradigm (structuralism -- Dworkin, Lon 
Fuller); the skeptical paradigm ("crits," pragmatism, so-called "attitudinal 
model"); and the strategic [Machiavellian]  paradigm (hard: vote trading; soft: 
watering down doctrine). The last one really isn't a paradigm more than it is a 
different modus operandi from within one of the other three.  

3. At all costs, don't ever allow one to use the phrase "rule of law" or 
"ideology" without giving examples of the idea. This is a realm where 
a Wittgensteinian approach is clearly king: all philosophy is done by examples. 
There is immense confusion if you let students or professors talk about these 
ideas without first offering examples of them. 

The same is true of the idea of "bias." Very often, when people offer this 
the only thing they ever mean is that their own prerogatives did not win.  
Regards and thanks.
Dr. Sean Wilson, Esq.
[spoiler]Assistant Professor
Wright State University
Personal Website: http://seanwilson.org
  (Subscribe:  http://ludwig.squarespace.com/sworg-subscribe/ )
SSRN papers: http://ssrn.com/author=596860
New Discussion Groups! http://ludwig.squarespace.com/discussionfora/[/spoiler]


Other related posts:

  • » [SW] On The Value of Political Science Theories About Judging - Sean Wilson