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The German Historicist Tradition$
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Frederick C. Beiser

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199691555

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691555.001.0001

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Savigny and the Historical School of Law

Savigny and the Historical School of Law

(p.214) 5 Savigny and the Historical School of Law
The German Historicist Tradition

Frederick C. Beiser

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the leader of the historical school of law, Friedrich Savigny (1779–1861), whose theory of law became one of the central phenomena of German historicism. The first sections discuss Savigny's intellectual origins in early romanticism and his early fateful rejection of natural law. Savigny's early lectures on jurisprudence are discussed insofar as they shed light on his evolving historical conception of the law. One of the most important intellectual controversies for the rise of historicism was the famous codification controversy between Savigny and Thibaut. This controversy is discussed in detail in two sections. The final section considers Savigny's mature legal theory.

Keywords:   Friedrich Savigny, codification controversy, Volksgeist, natural law, Frühromantik

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