Custom and law are both normative systems that regulate behavior patterns in certain areas of human society, in contrast to morals and religious faith, which motivate people for inward social obligations. Yet custom and law each have different attributes, among which are basic differences in the areas of their application and the sources of their normative authority. Custom pertains to spontaneous human groupings with no specific authority, while law, in contrast, pertains to particularized areas controlled by specific, usually governmental, authority. For these reasons, philosophers and jurists have frequently discussed custom and law since ancient times. Curiously, however, contemporary social sciences have rarely concerned themselves with the global observation and theoretical analysis of custom and law as representative social norms.

Western Treatment

Historical Development

Ancient Greek philosophy developed ...

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