Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Dictionary of philosophy and psychology including many of the principal conceptions of ethics, logics, aesthetics ... and giving a terminology in English, French, German and Italian, vol. 1 [a-laws]
Baldwin, James Mark
empirical observation—may rest upon besides, 
as guarantee of its holding good, it is yet 
true that it also has the highest degree 
of probability. The law of universal causa¬ 
tion, therefore, which rests upon what is 
called necessity, no less than the principles 
of mechanical and physical science, which 
rest upon experimental proof and assume 
uniformity of nature, comes under the formula 
of the definition. 
This aspect of law, which may be described 
as law in its theoretical or logical aspect, is 
contrasted with the modal and legal aspects of 
the same term—what may be called law of 
action or practice, or law in its practical 
aspect. In the latter the determination of 
conduct with reference to a prescription, 
requirement, or ideal, makes appeal essentially 
to persons as such, for recognition and obedi¬ 
ence ; in the sphere of the theoretical, how¬ 
ever, this appeal is not present except in the 
general sense which is true of all knowledge, 
i. e. that being true, such laws must be allowed 
for and observed. In the one case, the 
penalty is what has been called natural, and 
is of the nature of an effect; in the other, it is 
modal or legal, and is called Sanction (q. v.). 
Cf. the other topics Law (jural and moral). 
The ordinary warning against making law 
something apart from the sequences which it 
formulates may be repeated here. Natural 
events cannot be said strictly to obey law ; 
rather they establish and illustrate law by 
their behaviour. The law is an abstract state¬ 
ment of certain observed ways of behaviour, and 
the law cannot have any meaning except as 
formulating aspects of phenomenal existence. 
As to applying the term law to formula¬ 
tions of less than the highest degree. of 
probability, scientific usage does not sanction 
it. Law is commonly compared with Hypo¬ 
thesis and Theory (see those terms) just in 
this, that these latter terms carry less than 
the highest probability, and are still in wait¬ 
ing for the demonstration, crucial testing, or 
final observation which, by conferring what 
amounts to certainty, raises them to the dignity 
of law. 
On the logical aspects of the topic, see 
Laws oe Thought, and Pkinciple. (j.m.b.) 
Law (economic) : see Economic Law. 
Law (jural) : Ger. Gesetz ; Fr. loi, droit ; 
Ital. legge, diritto. A rule of action, declared 
or created by competent authority. Cf. de¬ 
finition of vera lex, by Cicero, De Republica, 
iii. 22 ; De Legibus, ii. 4 ; Inst, of Just., i. 2, 
11. Bee the other topics Law. 
Law may be regarded, in its essence, analy¬ 
tically, as a command from a superior to an 
inferior ; or historically, as a rule judicially 
declared to be entitled to general observance, 
and therefore obligatory. ‘ Law, for the prac¬ 
tical purposes of lawyers and citizens, means 
the sum of those rules of conduct which 
courts of justice enforce, the conditions on 
which they become applicable, and the manner 
and consequences of their application’ (Pol¬ 
lock, First Booh of Jurisprudence, 217). 
Any particular law, properly so called, is 
‘ a general rule of human action, taking cog¬ 
nizance only of external acts enforced by 
a determinate authority, which authority is 
human, and among human authorities is that 
which is paramount in a political society ’ 
(Holland, Jurisprudence, 36, 5th ed.). A 
proper law necessarily carries with it a sanc¬ 
tion, that is, it involves the conception of 
the consequent employment of power, in case 
of necessity, to enforce obedience or punish 
disobedience, or annul the effect of diso¬ 
bedience. See Adjective Law, Positive 
Law, Statute, and Sanction. 
Municipal law is a rule of external human 
action declared or created by or under power 
granted by a political, sovereign authority, 
for those subject to such authority; or an 
aggregate body of such rules. The former 
may be termed ‘ a law,’ the latter ‘ the law ’ 
(Austin, Jurisprudence, i. 91). 
Public law is law ordained for public pur¬ 
poses, to regulate conduct or rights in which 
the state as a whole is interested. Private 
law is law ordained for private purposes, to 
regulate conduct or rights interesting only, or 
primarily, the relations of private individuals 
between themselves (Digest, I. i. 1, 2). See 
Public Law, and Private Law. 
Public law ordinarily is, and always should 
be, a general law affecting equally all those 
subject to the jurisdiction of the state, who 
may come within its provisions. A bill of 
attainder is a penal law aimed at a particular 
individual, and is generally prohibited by 
American constitutions. Private law may 
lay down a special rule for a particular indi¬ 
vidual, and often does. Such a rule may 
even, so far forth, change the course, as 
to that particular case, of the general public 
law, affecting all others in a similar situation : 
e. g. by granting a divorce to a particular 
individual for a cause not recognized by the 
general laws, and thus changing his personal 
status in the community (Maynard v Hill, 
125 United States Reports, 209). 


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