Chapter

Legal systems

Joseph Raz

in Practical Reason and Norms

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268345
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683503 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198268345.003.0006
Legal systems

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One of the most important types of normative system in the modern world is the legal system. This chapter is exclusively concerned with the analysis of legal systems. Legal philosophy is nothing but practical philosophy applied to one social institution. In examining legal systems as such one will still often be dealing with problems of wider application. This chapter points to the unique features of law. However, the other parts of the chapter, dealing as they do with the normativity of law and with normative statements, raise problems which are by no means confined to legal philosophy. The present chapter shows in what respects legal systems differ from other institutionalized systems. These features also account for the fact that legal systems are the most important of all institutionalized systems and this is so as a matter of logic. It is a direct result of the defining features of law.

Keywords: legal systems; legal philosophy; normativity; institutionalized systems; law

Chapter.  13202 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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