Legal Theory Systems

Download From the bottom up : selected essays by Kent Greenawalt PDF

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By Kent Greenawalt

Containing essays released in a variety of journals, this booklet covers various issues, particularly political philosophy, criminal philosophy, criteria of criminal interpretation, good felony techniques to felony legislations, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.

summary: Containing essays released in quite a few journals, this e-book covers a variety of subject matters, significantly political philosophy, criminal philosophy, criteria of felony interpretation, good criminal methods to felony legislations, freedom of speech, and freedom of faith

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Greater use also can create feelings of exclusion, resentment, and hostility, and can generate instability. For the United States, I have proposed an approach to public reason, including self-​constraint about use of religious grounds, that recommends more substantial limits for officials than for ordinary citizens and more substantial limits on public deliberation and advocacy than bases for individual judgment. If this approach is sound, its relevance for other political societies will depend not only on basic features of liberal democracy, but also on the degree of similarity in history and culture, including the religious views that citizens embrace.

The main difficulties with a consensus approach lie elsewhere. If the claim is that liberty should not be restricted unless a consensus on values exists, it is too favorable to liberty, understood as an absence of restriction. To take one example, legislation that protects endangered species would need to be repealed if any significant number of people did not think such protection was warranted, and some people want to hunt species that are now protected. If, instead, the idea is that a consensus in values is needed before people are justified in seeking a change from the status quo, it is much too conservative.

But he might say that all premises of thought are similarly compromised, that no bases for judgment are fully rational. An extreme skeptic might really mean all premises of thought, including those that lie behind mathematics, logic, and science. I will not pause over this position, which I find implausible. I consider a believer who is a moderate skeptic about rationality. He grants that conclusions of math and science enjoy a degree of rational demonstrability that exceeds that of religious propositions; he even concedes that some conclusions of nonreligious morality, for example, that it is wrong to kill innocent people, have a higher degree of rational support than fundamental religious beliefs.

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