An Enquiry into Analytical Jurisprudence and Legal Positivism
Dulmage, Philip Longfellow
MetadataShow full item record
My interest 1s the study of law. It is the sole goal upon which I wish to focus and direct my energies. But what is law? I have no notion of the subject toward which my energies are cast. My enquiry starts out with a blank slate, a condition in which my yearning for objectivity rejoices. Blank slates are, however, dangerous Though what is written upon them be in chalk and can be erased, the vague imprint remains to blur perhaps a final and truer impression. It is necessary, therefore, to determine the standards upon which I embark upon the beginning of this enqu1ry. These standards cannot be derived from law itself, but can only be those which I have formed prior to this enquiry. These can be only two: ethical and analytical. The first standard is simply a dissatisfaction with absolutes and leaps, the reasoned absolutes and the irrational leaps. Dissatisfaction is endless. For this endless quest I need freedom. Freedom is what? Is it an absolute? No. Freedom is not an absolute but a flexible limit to thought and action. I am free to think about everything, but only a goal, or limit will give that thought d1rection, hence meaning. The limit is arbitrarily imposed by the needs of the moment, it is the space between two points on a infinite line. My standards for thought are what is useful and what will achieve my immediate goal. I won't find out what freedom is by merely placing dots on a line, but by exercising and stretching the limits of thought.