Political Science Lecturer Gregory Collins has a new article in the Political Science Reviewer journal entitled “Eric Voegelin on the Constitutional and Metaphysical Foundations of Property Rights in U.S. Supreme Court Jurisprudence.”
This article explores Voegelin’s observations on the reformulation of Lockean notions of property in the context of U.S. Supreme Court case law at the turn of the twentieth century. Voegelin’s analysis reveals that the theory of property in American jurisprudence underwent fundamental redefinition in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that was sensitive to the transformation in the United States from an agricultural to an industrial economy. Voegelin ultimately demonstrates throughout this commentary that a conception of political science informed by legal positivism should be rooted in deeper moral and anthropological assumptions about man. A new conceptual and linguistic framework was necessary to properly grapple with the expanding meaning of “property” in modernity and its connection to a broader metaphysical order within which the legal sphere operated.