Legal Philosophy offers an engaging introduction to the most important themes shared by law and philosophy. It examines the key concepts that characterise what law tries, or ought to try to do, providing analysis of what leading thinkers and theorists from varying, often conflicting, schools of thought have contributed to our understanding of them. It examines concepts central to law, such as "person," "good," "right," "rules," and "justice" and, by taking this approach, aims to develop your students' skills around questioning and reasoning.
Dr. Stephen Riley is Senior Lecturer in Law at Sheffield Hallam University where he teaches and writes on the philosophy of law, particularly in the areas of human dignity, critical theory and law, and general jurisprudence.
Introduction Chapter 1 Justice1 Endsa. Judgmentb. Desert c. Truth 2 Meansa. Adjudicationb. Impartialityc. Equality 3 Individualsa. The individual's goodb. Rightsc. Status 4 Collectivesa. The common goodb. The rule of lawc. Authority 5 Philosophy and justicea. Meta-theoryb. Scepticismc. Pragmatism Questions Concepts and methods Theorising Further reading Chapter 2 Person1 Facts and valuesa. Humans and personsb. Science and factsc. Humanity and human nature 2 Aristotlea. The human speciesb. Political animalsc. The situated person 3 Humanisma. Humanity and personsb. Libertyc. Fraternity and equality 4 Feminisma. The second sexb. Nature as ideologyc. Identity politics 5 Freedom a. Freedom as libertyb. Freedom as rationalityc. Freedom as autonomy Questions Concepts and methods Ideas and ideology Further reading Chapter 3 Good1 The gooda. The human goodb. A good life and justicec. Happiness and harmony 2 Platoa. The good and the individualb. The good and the statec. Contemporary Platonism 3 Natural lawa. Early natural lawb. Natural law and religionc. Modern natural law 4 Utilitarianisma. Hedonism b. Utilitarianismc. Variants of utilitarianism 5 Place and propertya. Property b. Environmentc. Capability Questions Concepts and methods Values Further reading Chapter 4 Right1 Righta. Right and truthb. Right answers c. Right as justice 2 Right as correspondence a. Kant: right as dutyb. Hegel: right made socialc. Marx: right made material 3 Right as coherence a. Hobbes: right as contractb. Mill: right as libertyc. Rawls: right as fairness 4 Rightsa. Hohfeld: distinguishing rightsb. Dworkin: rights as trumpsc. Nozick: rights as constraints 5 Human rightsa. From natural rights to human rightsb. Particularity versus universalityc. Human rights and liberalism Questions Concepts and methods Logic Further reading Chapter 5 Rule1 Rulesa. Rules as commands b. Forms and functions of rulesc. Formalism and anti-formalism 2 Positivisma. Origins of positivismb. Logical positivismc. Legal positivism 3 Harta. The concept of lawb. Primary and secondary rulesc. Hart and his critics 4 Wittgenstein a. Rules and senseb. Rule scepticismc. Anti scepticism 5 Disobediencea. The Socratic paradoxb. The authority of legal systemsc. The authority of individual laws Questions Concepts and methods Rules and exceptions Further reading Chapter 6 Norm1 Norms and normativitya. Law as 'binding' b. Normativity and the jurisprudential schoolsc. Classifying norms 2 Kelsen a. Kelsen's critical projectb. A pure theory of lawc. The Grundnorm 3 Law and social normsa. Law and historyb. Law and sociologyc. Law and economics 4 Realisma. Realism and normativityb. Scandinavian realismc. American realism 5 Force and powera. Norms and repression b. The force of lawc. Critical legal studies Questions Concepts and methods Critique Further reading Chapter 7 Law1 Foundationsa. Transcendentb. Immanentc. Self-subsisting 2 Formsa. Historical and territorialb. Ahistorical and atopicc. Diachronic 3 Functionsa. Constituteb. Regulatec. Justify Questions Concepts and methods Knowledge