Allen Mendenhall

Allen Mendenhall
Troy University · The Sorrell College of Business

B.A., M.A., J.D., LL.M., Ph.D.

About

46
Publications
6,070
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23
Citations
Citations since 2017
20 Research Items
15 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202302468
Introduction
Allen Mendenhall is Associate Dean and Grady Rosier Professor in the Sorrell College of Business at Troy University. He researches and writes at the intersection of law and humanities, and contributes to journals regarding law, literature, education, economics, and philosophy.

Publications

Publications (46)
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Don Quijote is a picaresque featuring the ridiculous nobleman Alonso Quixano, or Don Quijote, and his simple sidekick Sancho Panza. Their carnivalesque, absurd adventures—comical spoofs on medieval, romantic, knight-errand legends of gallantry and chivalry—result in irony, hilarity, and, alas, tragedy. Criticism in the manner of wit rather than mil...
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In "Governing Least: A New England Libertarianism," Dan Moller strikes the right balance between the alleged contradictions between rationally self-interested and altruistic sides. One might expect a book with this title to focus on literary luminaries such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, or Elizab...
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This essay presents the overarching themes that emerge from Russell Kirk’s writings about higher education. Universities, in Kirk’s view, are to cultivate wisdom and virtue, a task made difficult by ideology, which does not admit competing or alternative views. Ideology leads to fanaticism, extremism, and zealotry, which are not conditions for impr...
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The pandemic only worsened an already pervasive problem, namely a growing sense of restlessness and unhappiness even as we in the United States enjoy widespread economic opportunity and astounding material prosperity. Benjamin and Jenna Storey, married professors who run the distinguished Tocqueville Forum at Furman University, diagnose this condit...
Chapter
Dissenting opinions and many concurring opinions include non-binding statements, rationales, and explanations. What compels judges to add their losing arguments to the vast deposit of rejected legal propositions? This chapter argues that such opinions, although lacking in compulsory application and effect, contribute to our fund of knowledge, diver...
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Conservatives and libertarians have been harsh critics of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., but Holmes was not the progressive that these critics make him out to be. Holmes’s jurisprudence lends itself to libertarian jurisprudence, in particular in the areas of federalism and judicial restraint. Holmes disdained the politics of the young socialist...
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Science informed American jurisprudence during the age of the Revolution. Colonials used science and naturalism to navigate the wilderness, define themselves against the British, and forge a new national identity and constitutional order. American legal historians have long noted the influence of science upon the Founding generation—in particular o...
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This book considers the “three Ps” of liberty: pragmatism, pluralism, and polycentricity. Over several years we have heard debates about “thick” and “thin” libertarianism as well as “libertarian brutalism.” The labels “right-libertarian” and “left-libertarian” have circulated roughly since the emergence of the word “libertarian.” I propose to refra...
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Where do pragmatism and conservatism intersect? What does pragmatism offer conservatives? Following Seth Vannatta, I argue that, as a methodology, pragmatism concerns itself with the situated, the embedded, the contextual, the experiential, the fallible, the social, and the customary. Chief among its concerns is lived experience. It recalls philoso...
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This chapter explores Jeffrey Rosen’s depiction of Justice Brandeis as a “Jeffersonian prophet,” “the leader of a Jeffersonian tradition,” and “the Jewish Jefferson” to examine the meaning of the term “libertarian” in the context of American constitutional jurisprudence. It argues that Rosen unsettles the characterization of Brandeis as non-liberta...
Book
This book considers the “three Ps” of liberty: pragmatism, pluralism, and polycentricity. These concepts enrich the complex tradition of classical liberal jurisprudence, providing workable solutions based on the decentralization, diffusion, and dispersal of power.
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Brian A. Smith submits that Walker Percy “placed great emphasis on the dangers of functional or utilitarian definitions of law” that deny personhood, or the quality of being human. This essay examines Smith’s study of Percy in light of Friedrich Hayek’s anti-utilitarian jurisprudence, which champions political decentralization and the devolution of...
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In their edition "Great Christian Jurists in American History," Daniel L. Dreisbach and Mark David Hall have commissioned an interdisciplinary group of notable scholars to profile several recognizably Christian jurists whose contributions to the law in the United States have proven formative or influential. Organized chronologically by jurist, from...
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Michael Hoffheimer has argued that the prevailing scholarly assumption that Holmes did not believe in natural law in any form was misguided. He claims that Ralph Waldo Emerson’s transcendentalism encompassed a kind of natural law that influenced Holmes, and that Holmes rejected only specific strands—rather than the entire field—of natural-law theor...
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Patrick Deneen proposes that liberalism has failed. The operative premise of his argument is that liberalism so called created the conditions for its inevitable demise—that it is a self-consuming, self-defeating ideology only around 500 years old. Deneen presents a seeming paradox, namely that liberalism, under the banner of liberty and emancipatio...
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James M. Kang's "Oliver Wendell Holmes and Fixations of Manliness" undertakes a particularly charged subject in light of the #MeToo Movement and accumulating accusations of "toxic masculinity." Kang is right to recognize the abiding influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson on Holmes, but his construal of manliness or masculinity is generalized and ill-expl...
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Seth Vannatta identifies the common law as a central feature of the jurisprudence of former United States Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Holmes treated the common law as if it were an epistemology or a reliable mode for knowledge transmission over successive generations. Against the grand notion that the common law reflected a pri...
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This essay builds on recent work by Susan Haack to suggest that Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s conception of the common law was influenced by Darwinian evolution and classical pragmatism. This is no small claim: perceptions of what the common law is and does within the constitutional framework of the United States continue to be heavily debated. Holme...
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This essay describes how the law review process generally works and then discusses what the humanities can learn and borrow from the law review process. It ends by advocating for a hybrid law review/peer review approach to publishing. The law review process is not a panacea for our publishing ills. It has several drawbacks and shortcomings. This es...
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This essay considers the implications of the Seasteading Institute upon notions of law and sovereignty and argues that seasteading could make possible the implementation or ordering of polycentric legal systems while providing evidence for the viability of private-property anarchism or anarchocapitalism, at least in their nascent forms. This essay...
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Geoffrey of Monmouth’s The History of the Kings of Britain is a tale of the rise of law, suggesting that there can be no Britain without law — indeed, that Britain, like all nation-state constructs, was law, or at least a complex network of interrelated processes and procedures that we might call law. During an age with multiple sources of legal au...
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Edward W. Younkins's book, Flourishing and Happiness in a Free Society, is a welcome contribution to individualist thought. Focusing on Aristotle, Ayn Rand, Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, and Murray Rothbard, Younkins demonstrates the compatibility of Aristotelian liberalism, Objectivism, and Austrian Economics. Younkins suggests that synthesizing...
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Edward W. Younkins's book, Flourishing and Happiness in a Free Society, is a welcome contribution to individualist thought. Focusing on Aristotle, Ayn Rand, Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, and Murray Rothbard, Younkins demonstrates the compatibility of Aristotelian liberalism, Objectivism, and Austrian Economics. Younkins suggests that synthesÍ2Íng...
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What is transnational law? Various procedures and theories have emanated from this slippery signifier, but in general academics and legal practitioners who use the term have settled on certain common meanings for it. My purpose in this article is not to disrupt but to clarify these meanings by turning to literary theory and criticism that regularly...
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Holmes saw the dissent as a mechanism to advance and preserve arguments and as a pageant for wordplay. Dissents, for Holmes, occupied an interstitial space between law and non-law. The thought and theory of pragmatism allowed him to recreate the dissent as a stage for performative text, a place where signs and syntax could mimic the environment of...
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This Article considers how the Obama administration’s policies toward Japan implicate Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. More specifically, it argues that the Futenma base dispute (as it has come to be known) jeopardizes the very existence of Article 9 by threatening to render it moot and by expanding the already expansive interpretations of A...
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Edward W. Younkins's book, Flourishing and Happiness in a Free Society, is a welcome contribution to individualist thought. Focusing on Aristotle, Ayn Rand, Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, and Murray Rothbard, Younkins demonstrates the compatibility of Aristotelian liberalism, Objectivism, and Austrian Economics. Younkins suggests that synthesÍ2Íng...
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Since Mark Tushnet revived the study of slave laws in the American South, several historians, most notably Paul Finkelman, Thomas D. Morris, and Ariela Gross, have followed in his footsteps. Laura F. Edwards’s The People and Their Peace is a book that revises and extends this welcome trend in scholarship. Focusing on North and South Carolina from r...
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E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India presents Brahman Hindu jurisprudence as an alternative to British rule of law, a utilitarian jurisprudence that hinges on mercantilism, central planning, and imperialism. Building on John Hasnas’s critiques of rule of law and Murray Rothbard’s critiques of Benthamite utilitarianism, this essay argues that Forster’s...
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Law-and-literature scholars have paid scant attention to E. M. Forster’s oeuvre, which abounds in legal information and which situates itself in a unique jurisprudential context. Of all his novels, A Passage to India (1924) interrogates the law most rigorously, especially as it implicates massive programs of ‘liberal’ imperialism and ‘humanitarian’...
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Nearly every Anglo-American law school offers a course called Law-and-Literature. Nearly all of these courses assign one or more readings from Shakespeare’s oeuvre. Why study Shakespeare in law school? That is the question at the heart of these courses. Some law professors answer the question in terms of cultivating moral sensitivity, fine-tuning c...
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In his opinion for the majority, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney eliminates Dred Scott the man from the text and divests Scott of a body, thereby transforming him into a sort of incorporeal ghost that signals the traces and tropes of slavery. Subsequent historians, journalists, and politicians have made Scott even more inaccessible by either relying o...
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In 2007, I toured Moundsville Penitentiary, a tourist spectacle that was once - and fairly recently - a working prison. I wrote about the experience as would a journalist, except that my working paradigm was the postmodern theory of hyperreality, which Jean Baudrillard used to describe the complex tensions between reality and illusion. A term of se...
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Jefferson appears to have conceived of natural law rather differently from his predecessors - namely, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Richard Hooker, Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf, John Locke, and, among others, William Blackstone. This particular pedigree looked to divine decree or moral order to anchor natural law philosophy. But Jefferson’s various w...
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A paradigm shift in Native American Studies, Maureen Konkle's Writing Indian Nations focuses on Native agency while attending to treaties and court opinions. Although provocative, its treatment of law, most notably the Supreme Court opinion Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, succumbs to generalizations that dispense with Native resistance. Konkle casts Jo...
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The current self-portrayal of Moundsville Penitentiary (WV) makes light of the prison’s actual history and fantasizes about death and punishment. The edifice that used to house a multitude of prisoners has been transformed from active institution into historical spectacle. This essay argues that Moundsville Penitentiary is both a model and a sympto...
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This essay focuses on Holmes’s views about Lincoln, the Union, and the War. These views changed over time. As a young man, Holmes was an idealist of the Emersonian variety who associated with abolitionists like Wendell Phillips, but by the end of the War Holmes had altered his thinking. He never again wanted to be part of a movement that sought to...
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This article considers Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. as a writer in the aesthetic,pragmatic tradition of Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James. Holmes, like Emerson, has been compared to Nietzsche, and may be said to have ushered in an era of postmodern jurisprudence in America. Holmes’s aesthetic pragmatism anticipates the antifoundationalism of Richa...
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Full-text available
Science informed American jurisprudence during the age of the Revolution. Colonials used science and naturalism to navigate the wilderness, define themselves against the British, and forge a new national identity and constitutional order. American legal historians have long noted the influence of science upon the Founding generation, and historians...
Article
Full-text available
Jefferson appears to have conceived of natural law rather differently from his predecessors--namely, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Richard Hooker, Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf, John Locke, and, among others, William Blackstone. This particular pedigree looked to divine decree or moral order to anchor natural law philosophy. But Jefferson's various wr...