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Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

David Runciman
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Magnus Ryan
Affiliation:
University of London
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Summary

Extract from Maitland's Introduction to Political Theories of the Middle Age by Otto von Gierke

Staats- und Korporationslehre – the Doctrine of State and Corporation. Such a title may be to some a stumbling-block set before the threshold. A theory of the State, so it might be said, may be very interesting to the philosophic few and fairly interesting to the intelligent many, but a doctrine of Corporations, which probably speaks of fictitious personality and similar artifices, can only concern some juristic speculators, of whom there are none or next to none in this country. On second thoughts, however, we may be persuaded to see here no rock of offence but rather a stepping-stone which our thoughts should sometimes traverse. For, when all is said, there seems to be a genus of which State and Corporation are species. They seem to be permanently organised groups of men; they seem to be group-units; we seem to attribute acts and intents, rights and wrongs to these groups, to these units. Let it be allowed that the State is a highly peculiar group unit; still it may be asked whether we ourselves are not the slaves of a jurist's theory and a little behind the age of Darwin if between the State and all other groups we fix an immeasurable gulf and ask ourselves no questions about the origin of species.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2003

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  • Preface
  • F. W. Maitland
  • Edited by David Runciman, University of Cambridge, Magnus Ryan, University of London
  • Book: Maitland: State, Trust and Corporation
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511810435.005
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  • Preface
  • F. W. Maitland
  • Edited by David Runciman, University of Cambridge, Magnus Ryan, University of London
  • Book: Maitland: State, Trust and Corporation
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511810435.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Preface
  • F. W. Maitland
  • Edited by David Runciman, University of Cambridge, Magnus Ryan, University of London
  • Book: Maitland: State, Trust and Corporation
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511810435.005
Available formats
×