James Matthew Wilson

James Matthew Wilson teaches in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University.

Reason and the Unfounded Constitution

In Gerald Russello’s account of Russell Kirk’s Constitutional theory, he conscisely outlines Kirk’s thought on that central concern for conservatives and indeed for all Americans.  As Kirk understood, the Constitution is a great Fact of American experience, whose importance cannot be overlooked; and yet, as any historian could tell us, the trouble with facts is that they are at once stubborn and cagey.  They will not go away, but they also do not necessarily surrender their meaning, if we come ill equipped for interpretation.  Far from taking issue with any of Russello’s claims, I would like to highlight three elements…

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Natural Law, Natural Rights, and the Law of Freedom

It is a great honor to be asked to comment on Gerald Russello’s excellent piece.  A man whose scholarship and wisdom is as high as his integrity is deep, Russello has pioneered much in his own writing and editing and in his profound grasp of the law.  Almost every topic I’ve explored academically has proudly…

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Russell Kirk’s Founders and the Unwritten Constitution

2013 is the 60th year since Regnery Publishing brought Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind to the reading public.  The book helped transform modern American politics and inform many emerging conservative minds. When I was interning in Washington, DC more than twenty years ago, I remember answering a question by saying that I had a skeletal…

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