Document Type


Publication Date

January 1978

First Page



Nearly thirty years have passed since the publication of Professor Lon L. Fuller's The Case of the Speluncean Explorers, in which a fictional court expounded upon the manifold ways in which certain harsh necessities, externally imposed upon common people, can test the rules of the criminal law. The instant case is not in- tended to parody the Speluncean Explorers, but rather to complement it with the inverse theme: the singular defendant is a psychologically extraordinary individual existing in a relatively mundane environment. The Atheistic Solipsist provides the opportunity for consideration of the ways internal forces of great intensity can shape the manners in which people behave and the way the legal enterprise functions. Often it is useful to return to underlying precepts in order to refine and comprehend more fully the contemporary state of knowledge. Like Fuller's case, this one is constructed for the sole purpose of bringing into a common focus divergent philosophies of law and government. These philosophies presented men with live questions of choice in the days of Plato and Aristotle. Perhaps they will continue to do so when our era has had its say about them. If there is any element of prediction in the case, it does not go beyond a suggestion that the questions involved are among the permanent problems of the human race. The ensuing dialogue is dedicated to the life and work of Professor Fuller.

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