This book by the distinguished Chief Judge of the New York court of appeals deals with difficulties of the judicial process when its function is creative; that is, when a judge makes law for novel situations.

The title of the book assumes there is a science of law, and the introduction takes analogues of physical science for a starting point. In physics there are rest and motion, static and dynamic ; in social affairs there are stability and changes, conservation and progress. In making decisions, the judge may be concerned with the yea of action in alteration, and the nay of reaction in permanency; with innovation upon tenacious tradition; with affinity and repulsion of interests; with evaluation of felicities and infelicities, composition of causes, and reconciliation of codified principle and order with assertions of nonconforming personality. The resultant should be the just decision. But what is justice? How shall the judge know what is just, and how shall he make proper compromise between the contentions of centrifugal individuals and centripetal society, between liberty and the restraint of government?