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Book Review: Rediscovery of Justice

By Jerome N. Frank


It is easy to guess why the editors of the California Law Review asked me to review this book. For the author has used materials which, for a different and much more restricted purpose, I used some twenty years ago in my book, Law and The Modern Mind. There I drew on some aspects of the writings of the child psychologist, Piaget, and of the Freudians, to support a partial explanation-–I listed fourteen others–of the unrealistic demand, by adults, for unattainable legal certainty. In brief, my partial explanation was that this demand in part derives from the carry-over into adult years of emotional attitudes of young children, engendered in the family. This demand, I suggested, when made by adults, signifies emotional immaturity partly caused by unduly prolonged emotional father-dependence. A mature society I envisioned as one in which such father-dependence would vanish after childhood. \u22Modern civilization,\u22 I wrote, \u22demands a mind free of father-governance. To remain father-governed in adult years is peculiarly the modem sin.\u22 We should end the \u22search for the father-judge,\u22 so that \u22the child indeed becomes father to the man, i.e., each individual becomes his own father and thus eliminates the need for fatherly authority.\u22 Holmes I described as the \u22completely adult jurist\u22 who had \u22put away childish longings for a father-controlled world. . . . We might say that, being rid of the need of a strict father, he can afford not to use his authority as if he, himself, were a strict father.\u22 I should add that in that book I repeatedly warned that I considered psychology not a science but an art, still in its early youth, an art which utilized concepts most of which were \u22as ifs,\u22 with too little recognition by psychologists of that fact

Topics: Law
Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 1951
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