Our Situational Concepts

in The Theory of Rules

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780226487953
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226487977 | DOI:
Our Situational Concepts

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This chapter discusses the idea of “situational concepts” that was to play a significant role in the later writings of Karl N. Llewellyn. The advantages of decreasing the ideal scheme to its baldest form were to reveal something about the nature of rules of law in their technical form. The “public utility” was a concept which with some clarity includes a railroad and a power company, but nobody know[s] quite what else. In the “mortgage” field, the situational concept is seen perhaps at its maximum utility, certainly at its maximum effectiveness. The situational concept demonstrated something that can be shown to the man from Mars as a communication device which under favoring circumstances guarantees a very fair measure of certainty in dealing with unforeseen changes in situations, irrespective of official personnel. The basic concept of the whole law of agency was “authority”.

Keywords: situational concepts; Karl N. Llewellyn; rules of law; law of agency; communication; authority

Chapter.  7135 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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