The concept of law lies at the heart of our social and political life. Legal philosophy, or jurisprudence, explores the notion of law and its role in society, illuminating its meaning and its relation to the universal questions of justice, rights, and morality.
In this Very Short Introduction Raymond Wacks analyses the nature and purpose of the legal system, and the practice by courts, lawyers, and judges. Wacks reveals the intriguing and challenging nature of legal philosophy with clarity and enthusiasm, providing an enlightening guide to the central questions of legal theory.
In this revised edition Wacks makes a number of updates including new material on legal realism, changes to the approach to the analysis of law and legal theory, and updates to historical and anthropological jurisprudence.
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Raymond Wacks is Emeritus Professor of Law and Legal Theory. His areas of interest are legal theory, privacy, and human rights, and he has published numerous books and articles on various aspects of law, including Understanding Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Legal Theory (OUP, 2012), Law: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2008), and Privacy: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2010).
Introduction ; 1. Natural law ; 2. Legal positivism ; 3. Dworkin: the moral integrity of law ; 4. Rights and justice ; 5. Law and society ; 6. Critical legal theory ; 7. Understanding law: a very short epilogue ; References ; Further reading