International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Human Need for Law
Laura Zavatta

In a context of perpetual conflict, typical of every man, between existence and co-existence, we can identify the task that philosophy of law has to play to help his difficult and uneven path over the centuries. We must reflect on these two fundamental dimensions that characterize his “Dasein” (as Heidegger would say), or his “Being in the world”: existence and co-existence. And we must reflect not only on what differentiates these dimensions, but also on what identifies them. Then we can say that morality shapes our existence and law regulates our co-existence, in a perspective of identity and difference. Law and morality are an identity that is different and a difference that is identified with a correlation for which they are as autonomous and interacting systems. Morality is “lex in interiore homine” or unwritten law of conscience and duty. The law is “lex in exteriore homine”, or written and prescribed law, that constrains the behavior of its recipients, ensuring its effectiveness through coercion. “Lex in interiore homine” is born in the interior of each individual as an act of conscience or duty, perceived as “to do” that we have to do, and it is the essence of morality content. At the same time, “lex in interiore homine” gives rise to “lex in exteriore homine”, or to the foundation of law in the form of ordinary and regulatory rules of states.

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