Chapter

Savigny and the Historical School of Law

Frederick C. Beiser

in The German Historicist Tradition

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199691555
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731839 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691555.003.0006
Savigny and the Historical School of Law

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This chapter examines the leader of the historical school of law, Friedrich Savigny (1779–1861), whose theory of law became one of the central phenomena of German historicism. The first sections discuss Savigny's intellectual origins in early romanticism and his early fateful rejection of natural law. Savigny's early lectures on jurisprudence are discussed insofar as they shed light on his evolving historical conception of the law. One of the most important intellectual controversies for the rise of historicism was the famous codification controversy between Savigny and Thibaut. This controversy is discussed in detail in two sections. The final section considers Savigny's mature legal theory.

Keywords: Friedrich Savigny; codification controversy; Volksgeist; natural law; Frühromantik

Chapter.  21346 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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