The Path of Law

Feb 11, 2024 16:13 · 134 words · 1 minute read reading

I just skimmed through Oliver Wendell Holmes’s The Path of Law. A few things that stood out:

  • He frames the law as a field of study with the aim of predicting the decisions of course. I think he’s trying to disentangle the law from a statement of morals. It’s not about what is right, it’s a practical question of what rules you will actually be held to account on and how that account will appear.
  • There’s also a lot in here about “social advantage” (which I recognize as a 1900s phrase for what we might now call “privilege”).
  • He also tackles questions about how driven the law is by logic, versus by other factors. He seems to come down pretty solidly on the side of “logic is just a guide, not the sole input”.
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