THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONCEPT OF INCOME
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Although the way in which concepts are defined in private law naturally exerts a powerful influence on all the functions of a society, the importance of this fact must not be overestimated. In legal disputes between individuals, the main thing is to have clear, specific and easily comprehensible legal regulations, which leave an impartial judge in no doubt as to the respective rights of the parties concerned. Whether these regulations in fact really get to the heart of the matter under dispute is relatively unimportant; in general, of course, the parties are at liberty to make special agreements in advance, so as to alter their legal situation in the way they desire. Only in public law, where amendments of this kind on the part of individuals are out of the question, do errors of definition take on a truly fateful character from the point of view of social justice.