Rethinking the Rule of Law: A Demonstration that the Obvious is Plausible

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Mootz, Francis J., III
Indeterminacy; Heidegger; Gadamer; hermeneutics; rule of law; Jurisprudence; Legal History
article description
In this Article, I defend the Rule of Law from its detractors in the academy by uncovering and criticizing the unsound presuppositions driving their critiques. I acknowledge that these critiques raise two different problems for those who defend the plausibility of the Rule of Law: The problem of ensuring legal innovation and the problem of supplying effective constraint. In response to these problems, I locate our faith in the Rule of Law in the hermeneutical practice in which we are engaged as lawyers. Jurisprudential characterizations of the problems of constraint and innovation are misguided reactions to the narrow Enlightenment conception of knowledge and understanding, which, when exposed as such, lose their disconcerting power.