Not All Law Is an Artifact: Jurisprudence Meets the Common Law
Law As an Artifact (Luka Burazin & Kenneth Einar Himma eds., 2018)
40 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2018 Last revised: 23 Jul 2018
Date Written: May 29, 2018
A currently popular view is that law is an artifact. The central aim of this essay is to demonstrate that this view is not a neutral description of what law is, but is the product of a particular ideology. As such, it is not a description of what law is wherever it is found, but a normative account that sees law as a consciously designed tool for the improvement of human life. This view is in direct conflict with an alternative view that sees law not as an artifact, but as a local tradition, reflecting existing values. The essay further argues that the latter understanding of law fits the common law better than the competing view.
Keywords: jurisprudence, custom, common law, adjudication, social norms, legal positivism
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