Sunday, November 05, 2017

Strict Constructionism vs. Original Intent, Libertarian Party Edition


When it comes to the Libertarian Party's Statement of Principles and platform, I am a strict constructionist. That is, they mean what they say and say what they mean within reasonable understandings of language. Anything outside reasonable construction of actual language is both highly interpretable and subject to new understanding.

Caryn Ann Harlos is an original intentist, where the Statement of Principles in particular, and the platform to the extent that it flows from the former document, are all to be understood in terms of what the few dozen founders of the LP believed about issues (and the philosophical depths of issues), beliefs that neither they nor the SoP/platform may have even explicitly mentioned.

Unsurprisingly, on the issue that brings out this difference of approach at the moment, Harlos believes that the unstated position of the party's founders just happens to be Harlos's own position. Imagine that.

UPDATE: Caryn Ann informs me that I'm incorrect on the point of her claims as to the founders' positions agreeing with her own. She claims to be defending the historicity of a position, not the position itself. Fair enough.

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