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The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

Darwinian Constitutional Analysis

I have argued (mostly in various Disqus comment threads around the Internet) that much current wrongness is the result of Newtonian metaphors for Darwinian processes. 

For example, "the political spectrum"  suggests that policy preferences and party coalitions in some way resemble visible light refracted through a prism. In fact, they do not. 

We owe this unfortunate missed metaphor to the fact that before Voltaire wrote the book on politics, he wrote the book on "The Opticks" by Isaac Newton. See, Stanford Plato Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  

Anyway, here's a good example from Stephen Griffin of how analysis of the US Constitution proceeds under a Darwinian rather than Newtonian worldview.  

Beginning at a high altitude, I believe the right place to start is with the most important question the American constitutional project faced at the outset – how the Constitution would be enforced. Any constitution said to have the status of law, especially supreme law, must answer this question. The insight that constitutions must be self-enforcing is at most a starting point, an invitation to theorize how this could happen. Perhaps the most persuasive answer the framers came up with is that the people themselves would be the Constitution’s ultimate enforcers. But however persuasive, this is not the best answer. The most practical and effective answer they hit on was to rely on the institutions the Constitution created. These institutions would operationalize the Constitution and make it truly effective as a supreme law, subject of course to the somewhat theoretical check of the people. ...

There's more. Read the whole thing.  

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