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Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Common Law

    eadyidihhas quoted5 years ago
    if that is what was meant, it puts the cart before the horse
    eadyidihhas quoted5 years ago
    examples embodying as many distinct rules, each with its plausible and seemingly sufficient ground of policy to explain it.
    eadyidihhas quoted5 years ago
    the course of centuries the custom, belief, or necessity disappears, but the rule remains. The reason which gave rise to the rule has been forgotten, and ingenious minds set themselves to inquire how it is to be accounted for. Some ground of policy is thought of, which seems to explain it and to reconcile it with the present state of things; and then the rule adapts itself to the new reasons which have been found for it, and enters on a new career. The old form receives a new content, and in time even the form modifies itself to fit the meaning which it has received.
    eadyidihhas quoted5 years ago
    the story will also afford an instructive example of the mode in which the law has grown, without a break, from barbarism to civilization. Furthermore, it will throw much light upon some important and peculiar doctrines which cannot be returned to later.
    eadyidihhas quoted5 years ago
    actual intent and actual personal culpability.
    eadyidihhas quoted5 years ago
    The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience.
    eadyidihhas quoted5 years ago
    depend very much upon its past.
    eadyidihhas quoted5 years ago
    degree to which it is able to work
    eadyidihhas quoted5 years ago
    understand the combination of the two into new products at every stage
    eadyidihhas quoted5 years ago
    syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be governed
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