Introducing Pastology in Philosophy of Law

11 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2018

Date Written: August 2018

Abstract

Scholars of legal theory must stop using the phrase “original meaning” when suggesting how we should read undefined legal text. Instead, the term “pastology” or “pastological exegesis” should be used. We have an obligation not to mislead our audience. Whenever legal text is undefined and an advocate puts forth a candidate for more specific meaning based upon a marshaling of the past (floor speeches, letters, old dictionaries, etc.), this is an exegetical behavior known in philosophy of law as pastology.

Keywords: Originalism, Original Meaning, Jurisprudence, Constitution, History, Philosophy of Law

Suggested Citation

Wilson, Sean, Introducing Pastology in Philosophy of Law (August 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3232204 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3232204

Sean Wilson (Contact Author)

Wright State University ( email )

Department of Political Science
306 Millett Hall
Dayton, OH
United States
(937) 775-2942 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://drwilson.squarespace.com/

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