The Problem about the Nature of Law


in Ethics in the Public Domain

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780198260691
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682148 | DOI:
The Problem about the Nature of Law

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This chapter describes and comments upon three current approaches to the questions of the nature of law: the linguistic approach, lawyers' perspective, and the institutional approach. At the highest level of philosophical abstraction, the analysis shows that the doctrine of natural law can and should be concerned with explaining law within the wider context of social and political institutions. It shows how the lawyers' perspective is an arbitrary starting point for legal philosophy, disregarding the wider political context of the law. A different conclusion emerges if one follows the arguments based on the institutional approach. Since law belongs to the executive stage, it can be identified without resort to moral arguments.

Keywords: linguistic approach; law's nature; lawyer's perspective; institutional approach

Chapter.  7519 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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