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The Devil's account: men, morals, and constitutional goods

Poole, Thomas (2009) The Devil's account: men, morals, and constitutional goods. LSE law, society and economy working papers (01-2009). Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Alan Brudner's constitutional theory offers us an ideal constitution or 'heaven of laws'. His theory maps a constitution heavy with law. Law permeates and supports a host of dense networks and relationships between individuals, communities and the state. It also specifies a very comprehensive set of rights. These detailed prescriptions are designed to take constitutional form, with the result that they are removed largely from the remit of normal political and ideological debate. This paper probes this vision of constitutional order. It focuses on two particularly revealing aspects of the theory - its Aristotelian perfectionism and the educative role it affords the state. Drawing on an older tradition of liberal thought exemplified by Hume, the paper concludes that the extremely 'thick' legal constitution of the type Brudner presents is not one to which liberals should subscribe. His 'heaven of laws', since it envisages a state of political changelessness, amounts ultimately to a particular sort of tyranny in which the individual is trapped once more by the bonds of fate.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 The Author
Divisions: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Sets: Departments > Law
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2009 15:54
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2020 23:33

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