Article

Philosophy of Law: Normative Foundations

John Oberdiek

in Philosophy

ISBN: 9780195396577
Published online June 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0102
Philosophy of Law: Normative Foundations

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This article on the philosophy of law focuses on contemporary discussions of law’s normative foundations. This branch of philosophy of law, also called normative legal theory, overlaps with topics in political philosophy and ethics, as well as with analytical general jurisprudence, and it is a lively and rich area of philosophical research. As this description suggests, normative philosophy of law covers a vast territory. A case could easily be made to include several dozen more topics under this heading, or indeed to devote separate overarching entries to many of the topics that might be subsumed under normative philosophy of law. The philosophy of criminal law, for example, comprises far more than theories of punishment. This is all to say that what follows is but a primer. The common focus of the following topics is the relationship between individuals and the state. Examining that relationship has long been a principal concern of normative philosophy of law. More specifically, normative philosophy of law in the dominant Anglophone tradition has long been devoted to exploring the state’s role in alternately protecting and constraining individual liberty through law. This article charts aspects of that alternating role, focusing on authority, the duty to obey the law, the rule of law, rights, legal moralism, and punishment.

Article.  4702 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Epistemology ; Feminist Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Moral Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Law ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Religion ; Philosophy of Science ; Social and Political Philosophy

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