Monday, October 23, 2006

Legal Philosophy in Social & Political Context

"Political life sets the main problems for the political theorist, causing a certain range of issues to appear problematic, and a corresponding range of questions to become the leading subjects of debate. This view does not entails that theoretical ideas are to be treated as a straightforward outcome of their social base, but are certainly to be read in terms of their wider intellectual context."

Adapted from Quentin Skinner



"The works of the past appear to the scholar as pictures in a gallery - an array of discrete entities. The temptation to construe this array as an organic and continuous growth is well-nigh irresistible to those who confine their interest to the historical records of creative expression. What is ignored in this imagery are the intervening areas in which men act and react as social beings."

Adapted from Karl Mannheim; "The Illusion of the Immanent Flow of Ideas".



Thus, while ideas have intellectual origins and may exert intellectual influence, these relationships and lines of development are mediated by social factors - the acts of people as social beings. These factors may relate to professional and political considerations.

Adapted from Roger Cotterrel; The Politics of Jurisprudence: A Critical Introduction to Legal Philosophy.




"Decade after decade, Positivist and Natural Lawyers face one another in the final of the world cup... Victory goes now to one side, now to the other, but the enthusiasm of players and spectators alike ensures that the loser will take its revenge. Perhaps this interminable dispute reflects issues of such supreme difficulty and significance that agreement can never be reached. Perhaps the legal theorist can only cheer and jeer, and label his opponent a moral leper or a disingenuous romantic."

Adapted from Tony Honore

1 comment:

Elmina Kenley said...

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