Jurisprudence: Theory and Context

Jurisprudence: Theory and Context

Jurisprudence: Theory and Context

Jurisprudence: Theory and Context

Synopsis

A broad overview of the main topics and central issues in legal theory, Jurisprudence provides students with an informative introduction. Academically challenging and often controversial ideas are presented in a lucid, straightforward manner with special attention given to legal positivism, natural law theory, legal realism, law and economics, critical race theory, and feminist legal theory as well as to such leading theorists as Hart, Dworkin, Fuller, and Posner. The book will be essential reading for both the postgraduate and undergraduate.

Excerpt

For many students, the question has a simple answer: for them, it is a required course which they must pass in order to graduate. For students in this situation, the questions about any jurisprudence book will be whether it can help them to learn enough of the material to pass the course (or to do sufficiently well in the course that their overall class standing is not adversely affected). However, even students who have such a "minimal survival" attitude towards the subject might want to know what further advantage they might obtain from whatever knowledge of the subject they happen to pick up.

At the practical level, reading and participating in jurisprudential discussions develops the ability to analyse and to think critically and creatively about the law. Such skills are always useful in legal practice, particularly when facing novel questions within the law or when trying to formulate and advocate novel approaches to legal problems. Thus, even those who need a "bottom line" justification for whatever they do should be able to find a reason to read legal theory.

At a professional level, jurisprudence is the way lawyers and judges reflect on what they do and what their role is within society. This truth is reflected by the way jurisprudence is taught as part of a university education in the law, where law is considered not merely as a trade to be learned (like carpentry or fixing automobiles) but as an intellectual pursuit. For those who believe that only . . .

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