Why impose a course on constitutional law on our students?Because it is ...
whoooo26505 at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 10 15:40:35 PDT 2007
... I haven't read all of these posts, but I want to offer something anyway.
1. I have always been struggling with what political science is. History unto itself becomes a sort of trivia. Philosophy unto itself becomes a kind of irrelevant conversation. Political science, devoid of these influences, becomes an extremely empty subject. Law professors who pretend to be comprehensive of things like history, philosophy, empiricism, etc. always run the risk of making those things feel like a side show to the real training mission. And perhaps they are. It seems to me that political science is not actually its own inquiry. There really are no "political scientists." Instead, what is called "political science" should be understood as nothing but the application of history, philosophy, empiricism and law to the subject of how power is attained and used. In short, political science should stand atop of these fields by raiding all of them for applicatory purposes. It does not do this, however -- but it could if it ever found its way. (I don't mean that some
don't do this well; I mean as a whole).
2. I have always tried to teach con law to my students by using doctrine and political conflict to tell stories -- like a novel. Always, the stories are developmental. You place constitutionalism within history and you watch these institutions change and become redefined by the drama of political generations. As you go, you throw normative and philosophic questions out to them. You develop their skills to comprehend things. At the end of the ride, they know where the subject came from, how it changed, and what the normative controversies are.
Dr. Sean Wilson, Esq.
Penn State University
SSRN papers: http://ssrn.com/author=596860
Conference papers: http://ludwig.squarespace.com/research-agenda/
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