The Oldest Social Science? Configurations of Law and Modernity

By W. T. Murphy | Go to book overview

1
Introduction: The Measure of the Law

Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, and latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher . . . Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise.1

'One King, one law, one measure, and one weight': given the chain of events which the French Revolution was to unleash, it is perhaps ironic that this slogan, which appears in more or less the same form in numerous cahters de doléances, marks the apogee of sovereign power. Its logic, after all, is: one king (i.e. not many, certainly not 'every man a king'). One law: in part this is a call for one law for all, rather than one law for the rich and one law for the poor. Here traditional grievances and modern ('our') dreams overlap. In the traditional scheme, however, the demand for one law conceals a number of complications, as viewed from a modern perspective. Most obviously, the demand for an end to 'double standards' conceals an unproblematic assumption (in terms of the frame of reference of the end of' the eighteenth century) that married women, or women in general, may be treated differently. But this demand for one king and one law is also a call for one jurisdiction rather than many, for one unified set of institutions rather than a plurality of overlapping jurisdictions, and in this sense for national rather than local law. In this era, the prospect of universalism has not yet been flattened out into the modern preoccupation with the rule of law and equal protection of the laws. The new, perhaps artificial, parochialisms which we have laid over this preoccupation, as a consequence of our own rather abstract apprehension of identity and difference, remain in the future.

One measure one weight: are these equivalent demands, concerned simply with fixing quantity? Certainly, each is rooted in the practical

____________________
1
Paine, Common Sense, 65.

-1-

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Oldest Social Science? Configurations of Law and Modernity
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
/ 269

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.