By Peter Suber

The 1st full-length learn of self-reference and paradox in legislation, this booklet will intrigue and coach somebody attracted to legislations, common sense, philosophy, or political conception. historical past indicates that self-amendment - for instance, using a constitution's amending clause to amend itself - is average; felony research indicates it to be lawful, no matter if (as a few logicians have alleged) it truly is self-contradictory; and philosophical research indicates it to be foundational for legality. The lawfulness of self-amendment, consequently, sheds very important mild on criminal reasoning and rationality, and exhibits that we now not want settle for the immutability of any point of legislation.

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Extra info for The Paradox of Self-Amendment: A Study of Logic, Law, Omnipotence, and Change

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But is overlap necessary? Do the bygone rules have any present power to authorize their successors? ) We should resist the temptation to cast the problem wholly as a logical problem. The legal version of the paradox of omnipotence is first and foremost a legal problem, just as the theological version is primarily a theological problem. Hasty or exclusive treatment of them as logical problems may overlook the theories, very significant if true, that law-makers and deities may perform contradictions.

Resume] 20. This formulation of the paradox is probably vulnerable to time-based objections (see Section 10) which a more sophisticated formulation (Section 3) would succeed in evading. [Resume] 21. Exceptions to this principle, especially unusual and possibly non-supreme methods of amending the federal constitution, are considered in Part Two. [Resume] 22. Is a constitutional provision allowing "home rule" of cities at their option an example of paradoxical self-limitation? A city that votes to adopt home rule inverts the pyramid of power, in some respects, but under the authority of the apex.

As an example one may cite the 1897 action of the Indiana House of Representatives in voting unanimously to legislate an incorrect value of pi, and to charge non-residents of Indiana a royalty for use of the value. The bill was approved on its first reading in the state Senate, but on the second reading indefinitely postponed. Petr Beckman, A History of Pi, St. Martin's Press, 1971, pp. 174-79. However, if lawyers often lack the logical scruples of logicians, then as Alf Ross the logician will demonstrate despite Alf Ross the jurist, logicians just as often lack the legal scruples of lawyers.

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