Another Quest for the Holy Grail of Law: Ius Generis - Law as a Countermovement to Human Cognition


In hopes of providing some possible further insight into the nature of law in all contexts, this Article contributes another layer to the discussion respecting an evolutionary ontology of law. It advances a preliminary sketch of the possible genesis of norms as a countermovement to human cognition, with law, as a type of norms thereby integrally interwoven into humanity itself. With this understanding of its origins, law, whether considered from the positive law, natural law or systems theory perspective, may be understood more clearly and its applications perhaps anticipated. This Article analyzes whether this proposed countermovement theory might provide common threads between it and existing epistemologies. Implicit is that legal and non-legal norms are interrelated in humanity. This interrelationship will affect any attempt to transport law from one society to another and may explain the lack of success in transporting law as was attempted by the law and development movement. Anticipating this interrelationship might then result in better implementation of the rule of law worldwide.


law, human cognition, positive law, natural law, systems theory, society



Norbert Altvater



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