What is the Philosophy of Law?
University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; Notre Dame Law School
July 16, 2012
Rivista di Filosofia del Diritto 1 (2012) 67-78
Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 12-67
Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 45/2012
The philosophy of law is not separate from but dependent upon ethics and political philosophy, which it extends by that attention to the past (of sources, constitutions, contracts, acquired rights, etc.) which is characteristic of juridical thought for reasons articulated by the philosophy of law. Positivism is legitimate only as a thesis of, or topic within, natural law theory, which adequately incorporates it but remains transparently engaged with the ethical and political issues and challenges both perennial and peculiar to this age. The paper concludes by proposing a task for legal philosophy, in light of the fact that legal systems are not simply sets of norms.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: philosophy of law, jurisprudence, general principles of law, positivism, natural law theory
JEL Classification: K00, K1, K3, K4, K10, K30, K40
Date posted: July 18, 2012 ; Last revised: August 9, 2012