by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
10 Harvard Law Review 457 (1897)
The study of law is a systematized prediction of the incidence of public force intrusted to courts. In the study of law, the first thing to understand is its limits, which emphasize the distinction between law and moral. But sometimes these two conceptions can be very confusing especially in fields such as law f contract. And the confusion is dangerous to the clearness of both the legal speculation and practice. The next thing to come clean is that logic is not the only force determining the content and development of the law. But there are often inarticulate and unconscious elements within every logical judgment. And the third thing to keep in mind is that we must trace back to history and traditions to fully understand the present condition and future of the study of law. Since the formation of law is a gradual historical development. So it is important to combine the study of law with the study of history and political economy together, but only for the season to figure out and push it forward to the ideal future. Then , to master the study of law, we have to go down to the true basis of prophecy of law by expertizing in the most generalized form of legal theory jurisprudence. Because theory as a powerful command of ideas is the most essential part of law. Finally , to a upper level, connecting with the universe and infinite, thus creating a conception of universal law, makes a real master in the study of law. Jiang Yunke