San Diego Law Review

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What I shall argue, more specifically, is that, on the view of traditional Catholic philosophy and theology, we cannot be in a true quandary in law, because - whether we readily admit it or fiercely deny it - we have received, and therefore can make, law. On the traditional Catholic view, it is a fact about who we are that we are capable of making law. While the Catholic tradition denies, then, that we are in an ontic (as opposed to ontological) quandary, it also acknowledges that the mainstream, "meager" ontologies of our making can undermine our resources for making the law of which we are capable. In acknowledging the ways in which we are ontologically (as opposed to ontically) hobbled, and trying to help us overcome them, however, Pope Benedict sometimes seems to flirt with a deeper quandary in law, a genuinely ontic quandary. Smith and Benedict thus converge in an unexpected way.

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