Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



Man's quest for an absolute, for a definition of "good," for the meaning of "justice," carries us back to the beginnings of philosophy. And although these concepts are as elusive as the Questing Beast pursued by King Pellinore in T. H. White's delightful book, The Once and Future King, the history of mankind indicates that the curiosity of thoughtful persons is insatiable and that the search will not end. It continues daily before our eyes-in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, psychology, sociology, economics, philosophy, and other disciplines not the least of which is law. Even Holmes, the supposed skeptic, who rejected absolutes' and who denied the inter-mixture of law and morals, repeatedly affirmed the significance of intellectual achievement and thought it "not improbable that man, like the grub that prepares a chamber for the winged thing it has never seen but is to be--that man may have cosmic destinies that he does not understand."Whether or not it is given to us to "catch an echo of the infinite, and though we may be denied the barest glimpse of the unknown, it seems a true observation that the cumulative effect of unveiling tiny parts of the inscrutable whole have at last put us on a course toward the stars.