Legal Thought, Phenomenological School of

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Legal Thought, Phenomenological School of

 

a current in 20th-century bourgeois legal thought that was based on phenomenology. The major exponents of the school of thought include A. Reinach, F. Kaufmann, H. Coing, and C. Cossio. The goal of the phenomenological school was to overcome the neo-Kantian idealism that dominated bourgeois legal scholarship in the early 20th century. According to the school, law has an ontological foundation—that is, it exists independently of the lawgiver. The ideal essence of law—its eidos—is not based on actual social relations or on the socioeconomic and political structure of society; rather, it represents a world of its own, based on the “being” of legal concepts and norms. Social relations, interests, and goals are reflected in legal norms as a result of the conscious and purposeful activity of legislative bodies. The complex process by which this is accomplished is depicted by the phenomenologists as the “divination” of ready-made, or preexisting, legal models on the part of lawgivers and judges.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.