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The theoretical analysis of legal issues at the highest level of abstraction. Jurisprudence may be distinguished from both legal theory and the philosophy of law by its concern with those questions (e.g. about the nature of a particular right or duty, or a particular line of judicial reasoning) that arise within or are implied by substantive legal disciplines. Legal theory is often used to denote theoretical enquiries about law “as such” that extend beyond the boundaries of law as understood by professional lawyers (e.g. the economic analysis of law or Marxist legal theory). Legal philosophy or the philosophy of law, as its name implies, normally proceeds from the standpoint of the discipline of philosophy; that is, it attempts to unravel the sort of problems that might concern moral or political philosophers, such as the concepts of freedom or authority.

Subjects: Law.

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