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

By Roscoe Pound

This criminal consultant is a written model of lectures added sooner than the legislations college of Yale college as Storrs Lectures within the tuition yr 1921-1922.

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Second, there was the mass of rules, in form largely procedural, which was contained in the edicts. The growing point of the law had been here and to some extent growth was still going on through this means. Indeed this part of the law reached its final form under Hadrian. Third, there were the writings of the jurisconsults. The growing point of the law had begun to be here and this was the most important form of law in the classical period from Augustus to the third century. This part of the law got its final form in the Digest of Justinian.

It is significant that Greek thinkers always couple custom and enactment; things which today we contrast. These were the formal bases of legal authority. So Aristotle considers, not natural law and positive law, but what is just in itself—just by nature or just in its idea—and what derives its sole title to be just from convention or enactment. The latter, he says, can be just only with respect to those things which by nature are indifferent. Thus when a newly reconstituted city took a living Spartan general for its eponymus, no one was bound by nature to sacrifice to Brasidas as to an ancestor, but he was bound by enactment and after all the matter was one of convention, which, in a society framed on the model of an organized kindred, required that the citizens have a common heroic ancestor, and was morally indifferent.

Moral and social and hence legal phenomena were governed by laws as completely beyond the power of conscious human control as the movements of the planets. We might discover these laws by observation of social phenomena and might learn to submit to them intelligently instead of rashly or ignorantly defying them. But we could hope to do no more. Except as he could learn to plot some part of the inevitable curve of legal development and save us from futile flyings in the face of the laws by which legal evolution was inevitably governed, the jurist was powerless.

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An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law by Roscoe Pound


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