Navigating the Nexus: It Is Not Wisdom But Authority that makes a law. t – tymoff

it is not wisdom but authority that makes a law. t - tymoff

The quote is ascribed to Tymoff. He said, “It Is Not Wisdom But Authority that makes a law. t – tymoff.” The quote shows the problem. It is in the relationship between authority and wisdom in legal philosophy. Authority is vested to make and enforce laws. But, wisdom lies in making just, fair, and representative laws. This balancing act is crucial. It creates a strong legal structure that protects the public. With the help of this post, we are going to brief you about this philosophical statement.

What is It Is Not Wisdom But Authority that makes a law. t – tymoff?

Law is referred to as a set of rules and regulations, guidelines given in the constitution and enforced by the ruling government to maintain a cordial relationship among people and help the functioning of any country to function properly. The quote given by Thomas Hobbes, “It is not wit but authority that makes law” means that only authority holders who are appointed by the government or the constitution to describe their responsibility are eligible to make laws.

Establishing and implementing any law is a very serious and difficult process. So the responsibility cannot be given to only experienced holders, it is given to a talented person who prepares beyond thinking for equality and discrimination. These individuals have the authority to approve any bill and make any law for the welfare of the citizens and to improve their lives.

Tymoff said, “Authority, not wisdom, makes a law.” This is the deep idea behind law and governance. The phrase means that the making and implementation of the laws are vested in power. It is not in the collective wisdom or the sense of right and wrong of a society.

Understanding Authority in Law-Making 

Authority is the legal power or right to give orders. It is also the power to make decisions and enforce obedience. In making laws, authority is a constitution or a law that gives a legislative body power. This power applies to law-making. This would allow for following the created laws. It would also allow for a proper process to create, change, or eliminate them.

  • Authority is the legal power to issue orders and make decisions. It is also the right to enforce obedience. This is the basis for the formulation and implementation of the law.
  • Governments, legislatures, and others usually have this authority. They often get it from constitutions or laws.
  • This authority creates positive law. Positive law is written law. It ensures law is obeyed. And, it requires a system for making, changing, and removing law.

What is the Role of Wisdom in Law Making?

Wisdom is the quality of being wise; having experience, knowledge, and good judgment. But, making laws is not driven by wisdom. This is true for the making of law, either solely or even mainly. Laws should blend authority and wisdom. They use force to enforce laws. But, they are made with insight, foresight, and concern for the common good. Wisdom comes from a combination of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. According to thoughts it is not wisdom but authority that makes a law. t – tymoff No single force creates the law. But, wisdom certainly plays a part.Ideally, laws should blend authority and wisdom. Wisdom ensures they have insight, foresight, and care for the common good. It assists in preventing the creation of unjust or draconian laws lacking in moral insight or that could benefit the society.

The Relationship Between Authority and Wisdom

 It Is Not Wisdom But Authority

The relationship between authority and wisdom in the case of law is not quite easy. Authority lacks wisdom. It can be a place for cruel or unfair laws. They serve a few, not the common good. But, wisdom without authority could end up with only well-intentioned, but unenforceable, rules. They will fall short of bringing about real change or maintaining law and order.

The Ethical Values Of Legal Authority

The quote ‘it is not wisdom but authority that makes a law. t – tymoff’ reflects the important role of authority in lawmaking. Moreover, it also represents the requirement for ethical considerations to keep the balance of power exercising. The interconnection between justice and power for adding a fair legal system. Authority offers the mechanism for governance and its order, but without wisdom to shield the power.

Historical and Contemporary Examples

In history, there have been occasions when authority has overruled wisdom in law-making. For example, in times of absolute monarchy, the word of the king was the law whether it was wise or fair or not. More recent examples include laws made by authoritarian governments. These laws aggregate power but do not promote justice or equality.

The Ideal Situation 

An ideal situation has a balance. It has laws from legitimate authority and from collective wisdom. This wisdom includes the views of experts. It also includes the experience of the people and the ethics of the time. Such laws are more prone to be equitable, just, and beneficial to society at large.

Practical Implications

Law-makers, to wit, the state, should understand that laws can affect people. Resisting the law-making portrays people’s voice. Enforcement matters only after a violation. Police act as a bridge between authority and norms. It must come with the rule of law. It needs clear definitions of illegal activities. And, it needs proper action to confine and wipe them out.


Authority is where the power of the laws comes. But, adding wisdom is where the legitimacy of the laws comes. That should ensure they are in the public’s interest. Any society needs a wise legal system. But, it needs to balance these two elements. In that light, It Is Not Wisdom But Authority that makes a law. t – tymoff quote should remind one of the importance of balance. Without it, there could be far-reaching consequences.


Q1. Who is given credit for the quote “It is not wisdom but authority that makes a law”?

Many believe that T. Tymoff created this quote. But, some history references credit Thomas Hobbes. He originated a similar expression in his great work, “Leviathan.”

Q2. How exactly is wisdom embodied in the legal system?

The intellectual footings for laws are entrenched in wisdom. It comprises rationality and fairness. Ethical considerations underpin the laws.

Q3. How does authority fit into legal systems?

Authority ensures laws are made, put into effect, and kept. It provides order and a good environment for coexistence in society. Laws get their power from authority bodies.

Q4. What forms of dangers can result from the injudicious use of authority?

Unlimited power would result in unjust laws. An authority without wisdom might cause legislation that either goes against society’s values or misses meeting society’s requirements.

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