Archive, Lectures

Jill Frank


“Aristotle on Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law”


Professor of Political Science at the University of South Carolina. B.A., B.C.L., LL.B., Ph.D.  Jill writes and teaches in legal and political philosophy. Her work in political theory is some of the very best in the country. In addition to basic courses in political theory, she teaches courses like: “The Soul,” and “Property and Politics.”


Her lecture at Bard focused on constitutional theorists championing the rule of law and its source – the constitution – for protecting the political order against both popular and governmental overreaching. They often cite Aristotle as the authority for the fundamental opposition between power and lawfulness. Using Aristotle instead to challenge this opposition, she argues that Aristotle treats both the rule of law and the constitution as practices of political power on the part of citizens, and so also as the rule of men, and that, in so doing, he productively alters the terrain of some of the debates about sovereignty and authority at the heart of contemporary constitutional theory.

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