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'''Law and Politics'''
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==Definition==
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===Adjective===
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# Determined by [[impulse]] rather than [[reason]].
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# Chosen for no reason, somewhat [[random]].
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# Outcome usually technically [[logical]].
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=='''Law and Politics'''==
    
'''Arbitrary''' comes from the Latin arbitrarius, the source of [[arbiter]]; someone who is tasked to judge some matter. An arbitrary legal judgment is a decision made at the discretion of the judge, not the law. While this is occasionally acceptable, calling a judgment arbitrary generally has strong negative connotations implying that the arbiter has not reached a conclusion based on the evidence. At best, a decision was made for the sake of making some decision at all; at worst, it can imply tyrannical or corrupt judges using arbitrary standards irrelevant to the law. For instance, such arbitrary standards would include ruling in favor of whichever litigant the judge personally likes more, ruling in favor of co-religionists over other litigants, or flipping coins to determine a criminal's penalty. In some countries, a prohibition of arbitrariness is enshrined into the constitution. Article 9 of the Swiss Federal Constitution theoretically overrides even [[democratic]] decisions in prohibiting arbitrary government action. This can extend to laws with nonsensical justifications as well; the US Supreme Court has overturned laws for having "no rational basis."
 
'''Arbitrary''' comes from the Latin arbitrarius, the source of [[arbiter]]; someone who is tasked to judge some matter. An arbitrary legal judgment is a decision made at the discretion of the judge, not the law. While this is occasionally acceptable, calling a judgment arbitrary generally has strong negative connotations implying that the arbiter has not reached a conclusion based on the evidence. At best, a decision was made for the sake of making some decision at all; at worst, it can imply tyrannical or corrupt judges using arbitrary standards irrelevant to the law. For instance, such arbitrary standards would include ruling in favor of whichever litigant the judge personally likes more, ruling in favor of co-religionists over other litigants, or flipping coins to determine a criminal's penalty. In some countries, a prohibition of arbitrariness is enshrined into the constitution. Article 9 of the Swiss Federal Constitution theoretically overrides even [[democratic]] decisions in prohibiting arbitrary government action. This can extend to laws with nonsensical justifications as well; the US Supreme Court has overturned laws for having "no rational basis."
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'''Philosophy'''
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=='''Philosophy'''==
    
'''Arbitrary''' actions are closely related to [[teleology]], the study of purpose. Actions lacking a telos, a goal, are necessarily arbitrary. With no end to measure against, there can be no standard applied to choices, so all decisions are alike. Note that arbitrary or random methods in the standard sense of arbitrary may not qualify as arbitrary choices philosophically, if they were done in furtherance of a larger purpose; in the examples above, discipline in school and avoiding overcrowding at gas stations.
 
'''Arbitrary''' actions are closely related to [[teleology]], the study of purpose. Actions lacking a telos, a goal, are necessarily arbitrary. With no end to measure against, there can be no standard applied to choices, so all decisions are alike. Note that arbitrary or random methods in the standard sense of arbitrary may not qualify as arbitrary choices philosophically, if they were done in furtherance of a larger purpose; in the examples above, discipline in school and avoiding overcrowding at gas stations.

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