In Henry Adam’s riveting third-person autobiography posthumously published (The Education of Henry Adams, 1918) the concept of law is scrutinized in all its possible meanings. The moral law, the law of politics, the law of economics, the natural law, etc. are all regarded as – however tentative - closely interconnected ways of organizing experience which can throw light, at once, on universal issues and on historically determined, distinct features of American culture and society. He also explored therein the strict juridical meanings of Law, notwithstanding his paraleptic claims to ignorance on the subject, “outlawry as his peculiar birthright”, and “accidental education” acquired through direct experience rather than on law books and codes. The pupil of jurist Joseph Story at Harvard, the student of Civil Law in Berlin and Dresden and the author of pamphlets and essays on jurisprudential matters (“Chapters of Erie”, 1870; “The Anglo-Saxon Courts of Justice”, 1871, to mention but a few) Adams was in fact a learned and fine analyst who constantly attempted “to bring the case within a general law.” Covering the period between 1838 and 1905, however, he presented the Law as a principle which, along with the “democratic dogma” instilled to him by his father and grandfather, was rapidly decaying, due to the abrupt changes brought about by the Civil War and, more generally, by the ground-breaking scientific and technological discoveries of the time. He concludes that “the law altogether, as path of education, vanished in April 1861, leaving a million young men planted in the mud of a lawless world,” struggling to catch up with the multiplicity, diversity and anarchy of the modern world.
|Titolo:||Modernity, experience, and the Law in The Education of Henry Adams|
|Nome del convegno:||Law, literature and culture|
|Luogo del convegno:||Verona, Museo di Storia Naturale|
|Data di pubblicazione:||17-nov-2011|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02 - Intervento a convegno|