West Virginia Law Review

Document Type



"Much acute intellectual ability, energy, and expository skill has been . . . uneconomically spent in an attempt to distill from knowledge of a phase of governmental business a rarefied and sublimated science to be labeled 'jurisprudence'. "The law is essentially a practical matter. No theory or effort concerning it can command much attention and respect unless it is directed by an intelligent recognition of this fact." It may well be doubted whether legal thought in the seventeen years which have elapsed since Wharton's dictum has not noticeably shaken such a conclusion. For legal scholars continue to "distill" theories and seem not at all troubled about whether they are commanding any particular attention or respect for anyone. And to those for whom realism is a sine qua non there is the ever-disconcerting and fascinating field of legal science conveniently but inaccurately called the "conflicts of law". It shall therefore be the purpose of this paper to present the opposing theories of jurisprudence which relate to the conflict of laws and to discuss the extent to which they present an accurate analysis of the material with which legal science is concerned.



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