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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The contribution is about the development of the concept of law, and the theory of legal sources and methods in the early modern period. The chapter builds on continental legal literature, with emphasis on the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation. The author distinguishes two developmental phases: 1. the period from 1500 to 1650, which covers the era of humanism, and 2. the era of the Enlightenment from 1650 to 1800. From the first period to the second, the concept of law changes. Until c.1650, in order to be in force law had to be rightful and acceptable. From the mid-seventeenth century onwards, positive law depended on the will of the lawgiver only, while natural law evolved into a complete embodiment of rational law. The chapter demonstrates the influence, which the change in the concept of law had on specific parts of legal methodology.

Keywords: legal scholarship, legal methodology, concept of law, sources of law, theory of argumentation (Topica), theory of interpretation, natural law, positive law, usus modernus Pandectarum, humanism, systematization of law

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