The Paradoxical Evolution of Law
Washburn University - School of Law
September 8, 2011
Lewis & Clark Law Review, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2012
The paradoxical evolution of law authenticates durability and change. It mediates between the finite and the infinite. At a given point in time, law is a definitive corpus of rules and its constitutive norms can be identified and applied through specific legal methods. Despite its finitism, however, law accommodates a complex world imbued with absolute infinitism. Time, space, divinity, nature, causation, and consequences, all are infinite. As a general matter, human systems, including law, faced with infinitism manufactures finitism. In contracts, decedent’s estate, patents, searches and seizures, and other areas of law, law needs finite facts and finite rules to structure transactions and resolve disputes. Master texts, containing fundamental norms, protect the paradoxical evolution of law. They provide stability and durability. But they are also exposed to bi-dimensional mutations. First, the master text may undergo amendatory mutations. Second, the master text, even if non-amendable, is open to interpretative mutations. Living master texts, such as the U.S. Constitution, evolve and embrace bi-dimensional mutations. Law’s structured finitism, however, places methodological constraints on interpretative mutations and does not allow arbitrary and willful subversions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25working papers series
Date posted: September 10, 2011 ; Last revised: April 24, 2012
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