Download e-book for kindle: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law by Roscoe Pound

By Roscoe Pound

This felony consultant is a written model of lectures added earlier than the legislation college of Yale college as Storrs Lectures within the tuition yr 1921-1922.

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It was not long since that men had thought of legal precepts as divinely revealed, nor was it long since that law had been a tradition of old customs of decision. Philosophers were seeking a better basis for them in eternal principles of right. In the meantime in political theory, at least, many of them were the agreements of Athenian citizens as to how they should conduct themselves in the inevitable clashes of interests in everyday life. What was needed above all was some theory of the authority of law which should impose bonds of reason upon those who enacted, upon those who applied and upon those who were subject to law in such an amorphous legal order.

Liability 144 V. Property 191 VI. Contract 236 Bibliography 285 Index 309 I The Function of Legal Philosophy For twenty-four hundred years—from the Greek thinkers of the fifth century B. , who asked whether right was right by nature or only by enactment and convention, to the social philosophers of today, who seek the ends, the ethical basis and the enduring principles of social control—the philosophy of law has taken a leading rôle in all study of human institutions. The perennial struggle of American administrative law with nineteenth-century constitutional formulations of Aristotle's threefold classification of governmental power, the stone wall of natural rights against which attempts to put an end to private war in industrial disputes thus far have dashed in vain, and the notion of a logically derivable super-constitution, of which actual written constitutions are faint and imperfect reflections, which has been a clog upon social legislation for a generation, bear daily witness how thoroughly the philosophical legal thinking of the past is a force in the administration of justice of the present.

As soon as scientific legal development begins in the Middle Ages the law once more comes in contact with philosophy through the study of both in the universities. What was the need of the time which philosophy was called upon to satisfy? Following an era of anarchy and disunion and violence men desired order and organization and peace. They called for a philosophy that would bolster up authority and rationalize their desire to impose a legal yoke upon society. The period was one of transition from the primitive law of the Germanic peoples to a strict law, through reception of Roman law as authoritative legislation or through compilation of the Germanic customary law more or less after the Roman model, as in the north of France, or through declaration of the customary law in reported decisions of strong central courts, as in England.

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An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law by Roscoe Pound


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