Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Conceptualizing CapitalismInstitutions, Evolution, Future$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Geoffrey M. Hodgson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226168005

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226168142.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

Law and the State

Law and the State

(p.76) Chapter Three Law and the State
Conceptualizing Capitalism

Geoffrey M. Hodgson

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 3 clarifies the nature of law, criticizing the idea that it can emerge spontaneously through the interactions of individuals, and rejecting the notion (promoted by Friedrich Hayek among several others) that law is essentially custom. Instead it is argued that the development of law required a state and an institutionalized judiciary. Although all law depends to a degree on custom, and there are examples of spontaneous emergence of legal rules, it is difficult to see how a full legal system could emerge as a spontaneous order and obtain a critical mass in large, complex societies. Crucially, law must suppress and divert all rudimentary punitive emotions into legal channels, and build on long-evolved dispositions to adhere to moral rules and to obey authority.

Keywords:   law, custom, the state, Friedrich Hayek, spontaneous order, punishment, obeisance

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.