Date of this Version
A significant recent development in the field of legal science in this country, the importance of which is not yet generally recognized by laymen, is the noteworthy awakening of interest in the philosophical literature of the continent of Europe dealing with legal institutions. Progress in this field of legal philosophy has been especially rapid since the late seventies, particularly in Germany. In English-speaking countries no phenomena of equal significance have occurred. America has never produced any notable philosophical jurists; and the work of English legal scholars of the past generation, though in some instances it has been brilliant and of far-reaching value, has been mainly historical or critical in tendency. The opportunities for American lawyers to familiarize themselves with the product of continental investigations, either through translations or through descriptive accounts, have been few and far between. Hastie's translations from the works of Puchta, Friedlander, Falck, and Ahrens, published at Edinburgh as far back as 1887, formed, until very recently, almost the only serviceable work of the kind in existence, and the doctrines incorporated in it are now regarded as old-fashioned.