Historic Professions: Stabilizing the Reified Image of the Law and Other Historic Professions

Paul A. Wagner, Kennard B. Woods


Social institutions are commonly said to evolve. Yet there may be good reason why some institutions and some concepts are reified advantageously limiting any free-wheeling evolution over time. This is certainly true concepts like currency which stabilizes social ontology as much as concepts like rock stabilize natural kinds ontology. Important institutions such as the four historic professions moor civilization by being continually reified over generations aligning with sustainable public expectation. When a profession such as law is weaned from reified expectations of the public the effect is likely to be de-stabilizing of both the profession’s membership and the public the membership is meant to serve. The reified image of the bar, those entitled to the honor “esquire” following their name, assures society that a social ontology designates this group of professionals as leaders in forwarding society’s civilizing expectations. De-stabilizing this reification is not only self-destructive to the historic professions but to the societies they were intended to lead as well.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v8i6.5024


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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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