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e-Pública: Revista Eletrónica de Direito Público

versão On-line 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.

Palavras-chave : Conservatism; Tradition; Skepticism; Constitution; Supreme Court; Reason; Originalism.

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