Wisdom versus 'Reason' in Law
This paper, written for a conference at Pepperdine on “Wisdom, Law, and Lawyers,” begins by considering the meaning of wisdom as well as some possible tensions between wisdom and “reason.” The paper then argues that the kind of reason celebrated in the classical common law tradition can be interpreted as an (imperfect) embodiment of the insights associated with wisdom, but that modern legal thought tends to aggravate the tensions between wisdom and reason, and thus to reduce law to foolishness. The tendency is evident in the recent rush of decisions invalidating traditional marriage laws.
Digital USD Citation
Smith, Steven Douglas, "Wisdom versus 'Reason' in Law" (2015). Institute on Law and Philosophy Scholarship. 83.