Law's Evolution and Human Understanding

Front Cover
OUP USA, Sep 27, 2012 - Law - 258 pages
When should we follow the law? How can we know what law's words mean? What iisr law? biLaw's Evolution and Human Understandingrr presents fresh and surprising answers to these questions. In an account alive with the stories of our shared human history, Laurence Claus explains why we should discard the old idea that legal rules tell us what to do, and instead see law as a system of sayings that evolves among humans to help us better iunderstand each otherr. When driving on public roads, when buying and selling, and in countless other aspects of our work and play, we depend on law to let us know what other people are likely to do and to expect of us. Through fast-paced pages of anecdote and argument, biLaw's Evolution and Human Understandingrr explains the revolutionary consequences of seeing law as truly what Oliver Wendell Holmes called it: systematized prediction. The book reveals how this vision of law can transform our thinking about the way we make moral decisions, about the way we read law, and about many other ways that law affects our lives.
 

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Contents

1 What Makes Words Law?
1
2 How Law Grows Up in a Group
9
3 The Invention of Because I Said So
25
4 The Empty Idea of Authority
38
5 Ideas that Endure
45
6 When Should We Do What Law Signals?
58
7 How Law Works
96
8 Evolution and Revolution
128
9 Reading to Understand Each Other
165
10 The Life of the Law
188
Notes
195
Acknowledgments
251
Index
253
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Laurence Claus is a Professor of Law at the University of San Diego. Professor Claus clerked for Judge Frank H. Easterbrook of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from August 1999 to August 2000. He was a John M. Olin fellow in law at Northwestern University School of Law priorto joining the USD law faculty in 2001, and received his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford under the supervision of John Finnis.

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