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PHILO 160 - Introduction to Philosophy of Law

Legal philosophy is about the analytical and normative study of law and legal concepts. Legal philosophers critique the standard assumptions made by many legal practitioners to move beyond doctrinal legal analysis to reveal new insights and how potential problems might be resolved. This entry surveys the major approaches in legal philosophy, such as natural law theory, legal positivism, legal realism, the economic analysis of law, and alternative approaches. The entry then provides an overview of important issues in legal philosophy, such as adjudication, legal reasoning, and the philosophy of criminal law.

There are several general overviews on legal philosophy. Marmor provides a useful introduction to basic issues concerning the nature of law. Himma offers an excellent general introduction to legal philosophy and its main jurisprudential schools.

Recommended for you

A brief general introduction to select topics in legal philosophy is offered in Wacks Other recommended general overviews are comprehensive edited volumes that are each outstanding for the range and quality of contributions. The most comprehensive general overview on the subject is Coleman and Shapiro Patterson is similarly a collection of essays covering a wide number of topics in legal philosophy.


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A third recommended comprehensive collection is Golding and Edmundson A more scholarly overview covering several topics in legal philosophy is Brooks Brooks, Thom, ed. Law and Legal Theory. Boston: Brill, Coleman, Jules, and Scott Shapiro, eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Golding, Martin P.

Edmundson, eds. Oxford: Blackwell, DOI: Himma, Kenneth Einar. Edited by James Fieser and Bradley Dowden.

Where do laws come from? (Philosophy of Law, Part 1 - Professor Aeon Skoble)

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Legal Philosophy - Philosophy - Oxford Bibliographies

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Research and Information. Social Work. Warfare and Defence. Read More. Front Matter Preface List of illustrations Introduction 1. Natural law 2. Legal positivism 3. Law as interpretation 4. Rights and justice 5. Law and society 6. All rights reserved. Sign in to annotate.