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essays

The Highs and Lows of Enlightenment

by Condorcet in 1795

Like many of us, Condorcet got a bit carried away with praise for the Enlightenment. Unlike many of us, he tempered it with a dose of realism.

essays

Luther v. Borden: America, R.I.P.

by United States Supreme Court in 1849

Justice Woodbury concludes his dissent by arguing that the states cannot usurp Congress’s power to declare war in order to prevent political change.

essays

Luther v. Borden: Limiting Martial Law

by United States Supreme Court in 1849

Woodbury argues that the Dorr “War” presented no real threat to the Charter government and their declaration of martial law was made in error.

essays

Luther v. Borden: Political Questions

by United States Supreme Court in 1849

In his dissent from Taney’s opinion, Justice Woodbury began by agreeing that the Dorr War was a political matter best left out of the courts.

columns

Challenging Ideal Theory

by David S. D’Amato on Apr 20, 2018

“Ideal theory” political philosophy, like that of Rawls, glosses over the core problems with social democracy and other forms of statism.

essays

Luther v. Borden: Republicanism on Trial

by United States Supreme Court in 1849

In 1849, the US Supreme Court decided that might makes right—The only legitimate institutions are those with enough power to defend themselves.

essays

Modern Philosophy, Modern Liberty

by Condorcet in 1795

Rounding out his history of the Early Modern period, Condorcet explains the linkages between philosophy and politics on both ends of the Atlantic.

columns

Moncure Conway’s Fall from Grace

by George H. Smith on Apr 13, 2018

How was the abolitionist Moncure Conway widely criticized by other American abolitionists for his peace proposal that would end the Civil War?

Free Thoughts

Speak Freely (with Keith E. Whittington)

featuring Trevor Burrus and Aaron Ross Powell on Apr 13, 2018

Keith E. Whittington joins us to discuss his book Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech.