On topic: I'm having a very hard time during my CR review understanding the theoretical reason for omission of the practical contemporary significance of common law's historical forms. PT 53 section 4 passage 2
"Yet the academic study of jurisprudence has seldom treated common law as a constantly evolving phenomenon rooted in history; those interpretive theories that do acknowledge the antiquity of common law ignore the practical contemporary significance of its historical forms. The reasons for this omission are partly theoretical and partly political. In theoretical terms, modern jurisprudence has consistently treated law as a unified system of rules that can be studied at any given moment in time as a logical whole. The notion of jurisprudence as a system of norms or principles deemphasizes history in favor of the coherence of a system. In this view, the past of the system is conceived as no more than the continuous succession of its states of presence."
My thought process:
Modern theoretical study of law treats law as self-consistent as time progresses. Laws in the past do not contradict laws in the present, because it can be studied as a logical whole.
I don't see how this logically leads to an omission of how past laws are relevant in contemporary culture.
I also don't see how "continuous succession of its states of presence" means that jurisprudence ignore the contemporary significance of "historical forms". I'm assuming historical forms means past laws?
I'm so lost.
I think it's that, in order to acknowledge the contemporary significance of a law's historical form, that law would have to be interpreted to mean something specific to our present day. If you don't see law as being segregated within time (as meaning different things at different times due to changing conditions) and if law is continuous and consistent, then there is no "contemporary significance," but instead an ever-present, singular significance. I think that's why the whole mention of fairness, of law as being unitary and logical, that is included in the sentences following. Having a contemporary significance by essence negates the ability of the law to be a system of "objective application" of "immutable rules," to be of "timeless reason."
I really hope I didn't just give you an idiot answer. But, I think this is all semantics for "as it has been so shall it always be." Hence the later idea of the narrative. If common law is like a literary text, then it is unified and whole, but within it there is a chronological progression of plot. The narrative may have twists and turns, but the essence of the story, the novel, is whole. In this case, the novel would be a collection of the history and tradition of common law, a narrative of progressive meaning and significance of the application of that law.