n South African Law Journal - The Selfless Constitution: Experimentation and Flourishing as Foundations of South Africa's Basic Law, Stu Woolman : book review

Volume 131, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



Despite more than once describing his endeavour in as modest, Stu Woolman sets himself the ambitious task of elucidating the foundations and purposes of the South African Constitution and critiquing the jurisprudence it has engendered. He offers a pragmatist vision of constitutionalism that is significantly influenced by 'experimental constitutionalism', a theoretical approach developed by a group of constitutional lawyers at - in one case, formerly at - the Columbia Law School, including Michael Dorf, Charles Sabel and William Simon. Woolman draws on work in the fields of experimental philosophy, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, development theory and political philosophy to contest assumptions that underpin constitutional doctrines and to offer fresh, productive perspectives and possibilities with which to comprehend and develop constitutionalism in South Africa.

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