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Ideology is a set of ideas that reflect the social, political, and legal order of a given society; ideology also shapes society to some degree, including the content of its laws and legal institutions. Ideology can work with or against legitimacy in that ideology serves to justify and to realize—or to disqualify and to undermine—law and order. Neither in the past nor in the present has a universally accepted concept of ideology (and its relation to law) existed.

A preliminary formulation of an ideological conception is found in the theory of idols that Francis Bacon (1561–1626) developed in Novum Organum(1620: I, 49, 92). A person's will as well as affections affect human understanding; from it one derives the various sciences, which should be distinguished from the ...

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