Science and the Law secondly, to base upon knowledge so obtained and other pertinent knowledge a forecast of the potential legal consequences of similar or analo gous causal facts. Concrete occurrences to the lawyer are pregnant with potential sequences which threaten governmental action. His essen tial business is to predict these future sequences accurately and to induce the desired and guard against the undesired. The generalizations expressed in text books, on the statute books or in judicial opinions, have no value to him — have no practical value to any man — except insofar as they affect such problems or aid in their solution. They are but means to an end. What of it? The field of law is far wider and more complex than an imaginary system of promulgated or developed stereotyped rules and principles. It is a field for scientific study analogous to the field of any other science. Concrete sequences of facts and their legal con sequences are the external phenomena for investigation and prediction. Knowledge of the causative interrelations of such sequences and of the causes, organization, and operation of the governmental machinery entering into them constitutes knowledge of law in one of the legal senses of the word. Rules and prin ciples have been developed for use in this field and technical terms with definitions more or less stereotyped have been adopted. They are only mental tools which are used to classify, carry, and communicate economically the accum ulated knowledge of the law similarly to the use of generalizations and definitions in other sciences. . . . Our field of law does not consist of rules and principles only. Similar fields existed before adequate rules and principles were developed to aid in comprehending them, just as the field of geology existed before the science of geology was developed. It would not be true, however, to say that the field of law exists independently of rules and principles as does that of geology. The objective phenomena of law include prin cipally human actions and the legal sequences are brought about through voluntary action. The intelligent direction of human action neces sarily involves the use of generalizations. Gen eralizations therefore have a causative force in producing legal effects, and that force must be estimated as carefully as any other operating within the field; but they are not the whole field. I at once agree with Mr. Spencer that his is not a precise statement of my
ideas. To attain precision — that is to indicate unmistakably everything that I would include within "the field of law" and how in details I would draw the line of exclusion, would require far more space than a periodical would permit and would not add materially to the force of my argument. The tediousness of completely prophylactic exposition affects the patient as would an anaes thetic and the impatient as would the slow jolting of an oxcart. Perhaps, how ever, I have not made clear even fragmen tary and generally my conception of the nature of the field of law. Mr. Spencer's interpretation would seem to indicate that I have not. In part he criticises as follows : — 3 Nor is it accurate to regard the material with which the science of law deals as objective, how ever we define law. Governmental sequences may mean either of two things. They may mean the activity of society supplying an external basis for legal ideas, the actual human relationships with which we connect our ideas of right and obligation; or they may mean on the other hand the intentional striving of society for the realization of ideals of law, namely the human relationships which the sense of law itself creates. In the former case the dynamic basis of law is readily distinguishable from the law itself, and in the latter we are likewise driven to conceive of the law as idea rather than as external object. Legal science is concerned with something more than social phenomena, and its subject-matter is too broad to be com prehended in any purely objective science. I confess that I do not perceive with complete definiteness and assurance either horn of the dilemma above which he precariously suspends me. With the sharpened residuary faculties of the blind, however, I see very clearly my own meaning and I am certain that it differs from either of those which he proposes. Perhaps I can throw a little more light on my vision by con crete illustration. » 25 Green Bag 75 (Feb. 1913).