Chapter

A Grand Tour of Legal Theory

John Finnis

in Philosophy of Law

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580088
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729409 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580088.003.0006
A Grand Tour of Legal Theory

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This chapter is a survey of what ‘natural law theory’ in its classical forms did or would say about the twenty-eight topics intended to be taken up in Coleman and Shapiro's Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law. It begins by differentiating the classical from the ‘modern’ (from Grotius on) theories of natural law, and from ‘exclusive’ and ‘inclusive’ legal positivism, surveys the methodology of legal philosophy, the relationship between legal and political philosophy, and then a series of substantive topics: authority; rights; institutionality; reasons, ‘formalism’; law and obligation; adjudication; law and epistemology; law and language; law and objectivity; law and rational choice; law and sexuality; tort law; contract law; criminal law; property law; international law; the common law; Zipursky's ‘recourse’ theory of private wrongs; constitutional and statutory interpretation; and responsibility.

Keywords: natural law theory; positivisms; authority; obligation; judicial reasoning; interpretation; sexuality; methodology; legal theory

Chapter.  30122 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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