Talk:Philosophy of law

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The original article didn't seem like nonsense, so much as a woefully inadequate stub (or, worst case, a dictionary entry). There really is such a thing as a "philosophy of law" (just do a search in Google and see how many responses come back), and while "A system of values that informs a legal system" doesn't do the topic justice (no pun intended), and the definition wasn't so much nonsense as dictionary-like.

Right, philosophy of law is a well-established branch of philosophy. The definition given was completely inadequate as a definition of this philosophical subdiscipline; as a philosophical subdiscipline, it's not a "system of values" at all, or only in the most tenuous of senses. Hence, nonsense. --LMS

Au contraire. Unlike the grand concept of philosophy, a philosophy of "law" cannot exist without a "system of values" because the very word "law" comes with core defined assumptions about its meaning.

The current revisions aim to flesh out the article, which is still inadequate. There is a need for more discussion of legal positivism, especially the work of H.L.A. Hart and Joseph Raz. More discussion of natural law theory is needed, especially the work of John Finnis. There should be individual entries on various topics in substantive areas such as contract theory, tort theory, etc., as well as summaries of those entries in the philosophy of law entry. Lot's of work here.

I think something should be said of the effect that post-modernism has had on legal thinking. Deconstruction and other concepts relating to literary analysis and power relationships have been applied to the law to good effect. I could add something but it wouldn't be that complete, I didn't understand it that well in my "history and philosophy of law" class :) Psychobabble

I'm looking for an explanation of facts in the natural world and facts in the legal world. Clearly they are not the same as the rules governing what is accepted as fact in science is very different from that in law. Mulp 6 July 2005 23:46 (UTC)

I think an essential aspect of the nature of the philosophy of law is greatly neglected in the article. The philosophical debate as to the role of 'reason' within law, presented in such works as Aristotle's 'The politics' and Thomas Hobbes' 'A dialogue between a philosopher and a student of the the common laws of England'. 'Law is reason free from passion'; the debate on the matter is that there is a rational basis of law, i.e. law is informed by reason and cannot be law if it conflicts with reason. However the problemwith such a statement is that to reduce law to only reason would ope the way to disobedience on the part of man (and these can be many, who claims to be more reasonable than is the law itself. Thus the hard case is put: If law is reason and reason alone generates law, then law gains greatly in dignity but loses its own nature; for it is of the nature of law to commandthat it comport with obedience; but a command whose authoritativeness begins and ends with the reasonableness of the command will not, by its nature, procure obedience, for it is of the nature of reason to be always open to question. [Im just doing research on this as it is a question in a 45mins essay i will do when i start law school in Sept.] 21/08/2005, 16:33 GMT []

I removed the citations of Dworkin's Sovereign Virtue: The Theory and Practice of Equality and Mark Tushnet's Red, White and Blue: A Critical Analysis of Constitutional Law. These are both excellent works, but they hardly fit the definition of philosophy of law given by the article. Nor would any legal philosopher say they were works in philosophy of law. Sovereign Virtue is a work in political philosophy. Red, White and Blue is a work in constitutional theory.

Agreed. I've corrected the mistakes in the positivism section. The errors in the Natural Law section now also need to be fixed. Could someone who knows the contemporary literature (especially Finnis, Alexy, and Murphy) try to do this.


Reasons to merge:

1. There is no difference between 'jurisprudence' and 'philosophy of law' - it's really the same thing generally, and only little fiddly differences could be conjured up

2. Both articles cover broadly similar topics - they talk about positivism and natural law, although there are strengths in some bits and not others, e.g. the philosophy of law page has a useful list of authors; or the jurisprudence page has an interesting stub referring to islamic jurisprudence User:Wikidea

I agree that they are the same thing, and I'm not opposed to a merge - though I'm also not all that strongly in favour because my view that they are the same thing might be contested by some thinkers. Metamagician3000 05:11, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Which thinkers do you have in mind? I agree, that there are always going to be some that want to draw a distinction. But it's probably true that the leading ones - Dworkin, Hart, Raz, Finnis, etc, have always taught them as the same, right? Besides, the articles' contents are pretty identical. User:Wikidea
I said "might" because I don't particularly have anyone in mind. As I say, I agree they are the same thing. I guess I sometimes see legal theory texts that might count as jurisprudence but are not written by philosophers, and there may be questions about where philosophy of law begins and where the theoretical study of substantive legal doctrine or of sociology of law ends - and how much some of these other things count as being part of "jurisprudence". For what it's worth, though, when I did a jurisprudence subject at Law School we were told that "jurisprudence" is just a fancy word for philosophy of law ... and that's how I still think of it. Yes, I consider Dworkin, Hart, Finnis, Raz, blah, blah to be philosophers of law and jurisprudential scholars, and the terms to be interchangeable when applied to them. :) Metamagician3000 14:01, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Philosophy of law is a branch of jurisprudence, but not the entirety of it. The merge is unjustifiable, because they are clearly not the same thing.--Sanya3 (talk) 04:09, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Philosophy of law is branch of philosophy and involves both philosophers and lawyers. Jurisprudence in completely lawyer's territory. But philosophy of law is an independent observer of law's correlation with such spiritual values as moral,humanity (may be economics - prosperity)etc. It is outsider to pure legal area not insider. Only lawyers govern the jurisprudence and it is not equal to philosophy of law.--Pierpietro (talk) 18:25, 7 June 2012 (UTC)