What Makes Words Law?

Laurence Claus

in Law’s Evolution and Human Understanding

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199735099
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199950478 | DOI:
What Makes Words Law?

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Law is words, which in themselves cannot have purposes, goals, perspectives, rights, or duties. In contributing to and consulting the words we call law, people share a purpose of prediction. The law of a human community is distinctively predictive for that community. It is, as Oliver Wendell Holmes called it, systematized prediction. The law of a community is the expression of its customs. Law tells us what people in law’s community are likely to do and to expect. The law of a community exists to tell truths about the character of life in that community.

Keywords: purpose of law; prediction; expression of custom; systems theory; Oliver Wendell Holmes

Chapter.  2574 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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