In the fairy tales writings that R.G. Collingwood wrote in the mid-1930s there is a brief passage where he contrasts taboo -a type of magic according to his classification- and the law. The comparison is instructive in that he, essentially, attempted to present a case for a less rationalistic law, one that would be free from the vagaries and negative effect of utilitarianism. His aim was to restore the concept of the law and the rule of law as necessary aspects of civilisation. Where justice should be considered not as a means to an end but as having an intrinsic value of its own. At the same time his description of taboo, as a system that regulates human conduct, asserts strongly the presence of such elements in other, 'primitive' societies that may alert the more modern ones to a different, almost forgotten manner of expressing a civilised life.
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