Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Political Science Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law

Jurisprudence

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Political Science

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 ...