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Indeterminacy, Justification and Truth in Constitutional Theory

49 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2009  

Robert Justin Lipkin

Widener University School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 1992


In this Article, Professor Lipkin continues the debate over the nature of indeterminacy in constitutional theory, arguing that epistemic indeterminacy is most relevant to the law, because epistemic indeterminacy is more closely tied to practical reasoning than is metaphysical indeterminacy.

Professor Lipkin further argues that the controversy over metaphysical or epistemic indeterminacy is really a controversy over truth or justification as the primary form of validating constitutional rules. In Professor Lipkin's view, the search for constitutional truth should be abandoned or, at best, should be treated as a trivial result of the best justification.

Finally, Professor Lipkin proposes a new constitutional paradigm, integrating a revised version of Rawls's conception of wide reflective equilibrium with a modified account of Kuhn's theory of scientific change that takes into account the distinction between normal and revolutionary adjudication. Such a paradigm, Professor Lipkin argues, provides an interesting and complete account of constitutional adjudication and change, and therefore is an especially appropriate vehicle to transport constitutional theory into the twenty-first century.

Keywords: constitutional law, jurisprudence, indeterminacy

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Lipkin, Robert Justin, Indeterminacy, Justification and Truth in Constitutional Theory (January 1, 1992). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 60, 1992. Available at SSRN:

Robert Justin Lipkin (Contact Author)

Widener University School of Law ( email )

PO Box 7474
4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803
United States
302-477-2193 (Phone)
302-477-2255 (Fax)

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