Philosophy of the Common Law

Gerald J. Postema

in The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780199270972
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Philosophy of the Common Law

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This article presents current practice and historical evidence about the common law. Common law and its widely shared conceptualizations are considerably very complex. It discusses the concept of artificial reason in common law that differs in two respects from natural law. The aim of this artificial reason is as a convergence of judgment on common solutions, thereby securing effective practical guidance. Its characteristic mode of functioning may raise important issues for the philosophical understanding of the nature of law and legal reasoning. The article expresses material conventionalism and the congruence thesis and raises various arguments. This article further outlines key themes and broad notions of common law jurisprudence and translates them into a contemporary philosophical expression and explores arguments that might be given in support of them.

Keywords: common law; artificial reason; jurisprudence; philosophical understanding; legal reasoning

Article.  18318 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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