In my previous post, I recounted the pay-off one might expect from the development of what Professor West characterizes as a “missing jurisprudence” – that is, a liberal or progressive jurisprudence that takes natural law concerns seriously.
In this post, I summarize and comment upon Professor West’s account of why liberal and progressive members of the American legal academy have failed to take up the questions of the natural law tradition and make them central to their jurisprudential projects.
Adopting an illuminating trilogy of military metaphors (“friendly fire,” “self-inflicted wounds” and “incoming artiliary”), Professor West explains the reasons why such a jurisprudential orientation has been so long “missing” (“missing-in-action”?) in the American legal academy.
To capture the gist of these military metaphors, it is helpful to identify the different sides in this jurisprudential battle: