To this day, Georg Friedrich Puchta, who was Savigny`s
follower and, later, his successor in Berlin, is seen as the founder of
the "Begriffsjurisprudenz". The present paper contradicts prejudices,
which flow from this image. Focusing on a dispute about the formation
of systems among Puchta and Friedrich Julius Stahl, a new picture is painted,
regarding Puchta`s systematic thinking. Insights from more recent research
on F. W. J. Schelling show that Puchta`s understanding of systems was
based on ideas of Schelling rather than on those of Wolff, Kant or others.
Thus, Puchta constructed a system that could be interpreted, with Schelling,
as both necessary and free. It was free with regard to the origin of legal
principles. For such principles did not derive from fixed concepts. Rather,
concepts derived from principles. At the same time, it was necessary to
connect legal principles with one another as comprehensively as possible.
In this context, the academic had to find causal connections between single
principles. According to both Schelling and Puchta, a systematic pattern
like academic research was unthinkable without such connections. As a
result, the common idea of Puchta being a "Begriffsjurist" turned
out to be unsubstantiated.