The Spirit of the Laws: Thinking about Law and Public Policy

November 16-17, 2007

"What is right is not derived from the rule but the rule arises from our knowledge of what is right." Julius Paulus, Roman jurist, third century A.D.

"It is only as a result of individuals observing certain common rules can live together in those orderly relations we call society. Not all law the product of legislation; but power to legislate presupposes the recognition of some common rules; and such rules which underlie the power to legislate may also limit the power." F.A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Volume I, Rules and Order.

America owes its form of government to a small group of persons who came to understand law and the structure of governance from one man, Charles de Secondat, baron of Montesquieu (1689-1755). This is a form of government in which it is possible to determine that all legislation is not enforceable as law. This seminar addresses his thought as expressed in his The Spirit of the Laws, and examines its implication for modern society.


Dr. David Carrithers (Ph.D., New York University) is Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Government at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He specializes in the history of political philosophy, the political ideas of Montesquieu, and the politics of Enlightenment. Since coming to UTC he has taught not only in the Department of Political Science but also the Department of History and the Department of Philosophy and Religion as well as in the Interdisciplinary Honors and Scholars Program. He has published widely in political philosophy and, especially, on the political thought of Montesquieu and on issues of crime and punishment, including the death penalty.

Dr. Kenneth Chilton (Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis) is Director of the Institute for Study of Economics and the Environment at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. He previously served as a researcher and administrator (for 24 years) at the Center for the Study of American Business at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He is contributing editor of two books,The Dynamic American Firm (1996) and Environmental Protection: Regulating for Results, and has been co-editor of other books which address business and legal issues. He has published numerous articles and spoken to a variety of audiences about legal and environmental issues.

Dr. Doug Bandow (JD, Stanford University) is Vice-president for Policy for Citizen Outreach, a Washington-based grassroots political organization. He is also the Bastiat Scholar in Free Enterprise at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Cobden Fellow in International Economics at the Institute for Policy Innovation. He has been widely published in such periodicals as Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Christianity Today, Foreign Policy as well as other national and international publications. He received his BA in Economics from Florida State University as well as the JD from Stanford University.

Dr. Diana Schaub (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is professor of Political Science at Loyola College in Maryland. She has been a postdoctoral fellow of the Program on Constitutional Government at Harvard University and has served on the President's Council on Bioethics. She is author of Erotic Liberalism: Women and Revolution in Montesquieu's "Persian Letters," along with a number of book chapters and articles in the fields of political philosophy and American political thought. She is a reviewer and essayist for a variety of publications, among them, The New Criterion, The Public Interest, the Claremont Review of Books, The American Interest, and The New Atlantis.



See the event schedule for session times and topics
Seminars will be presented in Rudd Auditorium. For additional information, call 423-775-7571 or email All lectures are free and open to the public.