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William Ewald

Professor of Law and Philosophy

William Ewald


William Ewald is an internationally recognized scholar in legal philosophy and comparative law. He is the author of an often-cited article in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review on the philosophical foundations of comparative law, “What Was it Like to Try a Rat?” and is currently at work on a book, The Style of American Law, that examines, from a comparative perspective, the distinctive character of American law. Continue reading…

William Ewald is an internationally recognized scholar in legal philosophy and comparative law. He is the author of an often-cited article in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review on the philosophical foundations of comparative law, “What Was it Like to Try a Rat?” and is currently at work on a book, The Style of American Law, that examines, from a comparative perspective, the distinctive character of American law. This work has led him to write on the legal philosophy of James Wilson, the first professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania. He also works in the philosophy of mathematics and is the editor of a standard source-book in philosophy of mathematics, From Kant to Hilbert (Oxford, 1996). He received an award from the John Templeton Foundation to pursue research in the foundations of mathematics. [Hide]

Expertise

  • Comparative Law
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Legal History
  • International Law

Books

THE STYLE OF AMERICAN LAW. (forthcoming)

HILBERT ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF MATHEMATICS AND NATURAL SCIENCE (Six volumes of David Hilbert’s unpublished writings, with editorial commentary. Co-edited with Michael Hallett, Ulrich Majer, and Wilfried Sieg; in course of publication by Springer Verlag. Volume One was published in 2005; Volumes Three and Four 2009.)

Articles and Book Chapters

The Committee of Detail, 28 CONST. COMMENT. 197 (2012). (forthcoming)

Early Drafts of the U.S. Constitution, 135 PA. MAG. HIST. & BIOGRAPHY 227 (2011) (with L. Updike).

James Wilson and the Scottish Enlightenment, 12 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 1053 (2010).

The Complexity of Sources of Trans-National Law: United States Report, 58 AM. J. COMP. L. 59 (Suppl. 2010).

James Wilson and the Drafting of the Constitution, 10 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 901 (2008).

The Protestant Revolutions and Western Law, 22 CONST. COMMENT. 181 (2005) (reviewing HAROLD J. BERMAN, LAW AND REVOLUTION II: THE IMPACT OF THE PROTESTANT REFORMATIONS ON THE WESTERN LEGAL TRADITION (2003)).

The Search for Mathematical Roots, 40 BULL. AM. MATHEMATICAL SOC’Y 125 (2005).

The Conceptual Jurisprudence of the German Constitution, 21 CONST. COMMENT. 591 (2004) (reviewing ROBERT ALEXY, A THEORY OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS (2002)).

FROM KANT TO HILBERT: A SOURCE BOOK IN THE FOUNDATIONS OF MATHEMATICS (2 vol., Oxford University Press 1996).
[Available Here]

Unger' s Philosophy: A Critical Legal Study, 1988 YALE L.J. 665.

Comparative Jurisprudence: What Was it Like to Try a Rat?, 1995 U. PA. L. REV. 1889 (1995).

More publications can be found here.

Research Areas

  • Comparative Law
  • Legal Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Mathematics

Positions

The Queen's College, Oxford - Junior Research Fellow (1982-85, 1987-88)

Harvard College - Teaching Fellow (1979-82)

The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton - Member (1988-89); Visitor (1997)

Istituto Universitario Europeo, Florence - Jean Monnet Fellow (1989-90)

Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship at the University of Gottingen (1985-87)

Penn Law - Professor of Law (1991- )

Courses

  • Comparative Law
  • Public International Law
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Kant's Legal Theory
  • Foundations of the American Legal System

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