Who is Barack Obama? When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya.
Indeed, the everyday work of the courts was never more completely shaped by abstract philosophical ideas than in the nineteenth century when lawyers affected to despise philosophy and jurists believed they had set up a self-sufficient science of law which stood in no need of any philosophical apparatus.
In all stages of what may be described fairly as legal development, philosophy has been a useful servant. But in some it has been a tyrannous servant, and in all but form a master. It has been used to break down the authority of outworn tradition, to bend authoritatively imposed rules that admitted of no change to new uses which changed profoundly their practical effect, to bring new elements into the law from without and make new bodies of law from these new materials, to organize and systematize existing Edition: Such have been its actual achievements.
Yet all the while its professed aim has been much more ambitious. It has sought to give us a complete and final picture of social control. It has sought to lay down a moral and legal and political chart for all time.
It has had faith that it could find the everlasting, unchangeable legal reality in which we might rest, and could enable us to establish a perfect law by which human relations might be ordered forever without uncertainty and freed from need of change.
Nor may we scoff at this ambitious aim and this lofty faith. They have been not the least factors in the power of legal philosophy to do the less ambitious things which in their aggregate are the bone and sinew of legal achievement.
For the attempt at the larger program has led philosophy of law incidentally to do the things that were immediately and practically serviceable, and the doing of these latter, as it were sub Edition: Two needs have determined philosophical thinking about law.
On the one hand, the paramount social interest in the general security, which as an interest in peace and order dictated the very beginnings of law, has led men to seek some fixed basis of a certain ordering of human action which should restrain magisterial as well as individual wilfulness and assure a firm and stable social order.
On the other hand, the pressure of less immediate social interests, and the need of reconciling them with the exigencies of the general security, and of making continual new compromises because of continual changes in society, has called ever for readjustment at least of the details of the social order.
It has called continually for overhauling of legal precepts and for refitting of them to unexpected situations. And this has led men to seek principles of legal development by which to escape from authoritative rules which they feared or did not know how Edition: These principles of change and growth, however, might easily prove inimical to the general security, and it was important to reconcile or unify them with the idea of a fixed basis of the legal order.
Thus the philosopher has sought to construct theories of law and theories of lawmaking and has sought to unify them by some ultimate solving idea equal to the task of yielding a perfect law which should stand fast forever. From the time when lawgivers gave over the attempt to maintain the general security by belief that particular bodies of human law had been divinely dictated or divinely revealed or divinely sanctioned, they have had to wrestle with the problem of proving to mankind that the law was something fixed and settled, whose authority was beyond question, while at the same time enabling it to make constant readjustments and occasional radical changes under the pressure of infinite and variable human desires.
The philosopher has worked upon this problem with the materials of the actual legal systems of the time Edition: Hence in closer view philosophies of law have been attempts to give a rational account of the law of the time and place, or attempts to formulate a general theory of the legal order to meet the needs of some given period of legal development, or attempts to state the results of the two former attempts universally and to make them all-sufficient for law everywhere and for all time.
Historians of the philosophy of law have fixed their eyes chiefly on the third. But this is the least valuable part of legal philosophy. If we look at the philosophies of the past with our eyes upon the law of the time and place and the exigencies of the stage of legal development in which they were formulated, we shall be able to appreciate them more justly, and so far as the law of the time and place or the stage of legal development was similar to or different from the present to utilize them for the purposes of today.
We know Greek law from the beginnings of a Edition: In its first stage the kings decide particular causes by divine inspiration.The Supreme Court's decision in Plessy plombier-nemours.comon determined that "separate but equal" public facilities like restrooms and railroad cars were legal.
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