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Autonomy, Interdependence and Responsibility, 103 Yale Law Journal 401 (1993)


If there is a cycle in jurisprudential fashions, then, after an era of Positivism, with intermittent bursts of Natural Law, it had to be time for Historicism. Historicists view law not as the product of conscious choice by a society's members, but as the outcome of a process of growth largely shaped and constrained by historical forces. As each group has its own language or dialect, each has its own unique law. Ubi societas, ibi jus. The law of each group should be allowed to grow, at its own pace and according to its own preordained genetic program, until it reaches the final stage of whatever it is supposed to be. As for jurists, legislators, and erstwhile social do-gooders, Historicism has curt advice: look but don't touch.

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