A Constitutional and Legal History of England

By Goldwin Smith | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER XXII
The State and the Citizen

THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW

THERE have been many attempts by students of jurisprudence to examine the content of the law as it is and the law as it ought to be. Through the long history of man various standards of justice have appeared and slowly fallen into the shadows. Justice has obviously meant different things to different minds at different times. There have also been numerous expedients for the attainment of equity and justice in various ages and in contrasting social systems.

In our own age, several political theories, contributions to jurisprudence, and critical studies of sovereignty have had their arguments and conclusions buttressed by the use of new criteria based upon the careful consideration of psychological, sociological, and economic factors in human behavior. More and more knowledge about the nature of man and the consequences of human conduct has resulted in the opening of new roads to scientific investigation and new conclusions in jurisprudence and its related fields. Meanwhile, we still have all manner of ideas about the origins, ends and purposes of law derived from the facts and fictions at our command.

The questions and the answers are many. What, for instance, is a just law? Ought just laws to be adapted to changing human wants? Should legal rules be judged empirically with reference to the total aspects of the society in which they exist? When is the content of a rule of law objectively justified? What is the rationale of the so-called "binding force" of law? What principles may be derived from the idea of a social ideal?

Was Dean Roscoe Pound justified in his concept of law as "continually more efficacious social engineering"? Or is the rationalism of the

-502-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Constitutional and Legal History of England
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 566

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?