SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.5 issue3Conservatism and Constitutionalism in the United StatesInformal Constitutionalism and the Role of Politics author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links

  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO


e-Pública: Revista Eletrónica de Direito Público

On-line version ISSN 2183-184X


SMITH, Steven D.. In Search of Conservatism . e-Pública [online]. 2018, vol.5, n.3, pp.49-58. ISSN 2183-184X.

This essay was written as a comment on a paper by Professor Robert Nagel, entitled “Conservatism and Constitutionalism in the United States.“  After considering and criticizing various candidates for a conservative constitutional jurisprudence, Nagel concludes by suggesting that the essence of judicial conservatism lies in a traditionalism that acknowledges that reason can only operate from within experience rather than as a more detached examination of experience. This comment questions Nagel’s conclusion, suggests that conservatism would need to have a more ethical and ontological dimension, and offers a distinction between “believing traditionalists“ and “skeptical traditionalists“ who may converge in their practical values and prescriptions even though they differ fundamentally on a more philosophical level.

Keywords : Conservatism; Tradition; Skepticism; Constitution; Supreme Court; Reason; Originalism.

        · abstract in Portuguese     · text in English     · English ( pdf )