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Philosophy of Law
Philosophy of law is concerned with questions about the nature of law and concepts that structure law. It also deals with questions regarding the authority of the law and the role of law in society. Philosophy of law can be divided in several categories, such as analytical jurisprudence, normative jurisprudence, critical theories of law, sociological jurisprudence, theories of justice, natural law, legal positivism, and legal realism. The notions legal theory and jurisprudence are often used as a synonym for philosophy of law or its sub-disciplines.
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Philosophy of Law. It provides the basic materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s classification index code 18. Philosophy of Law and Natural Law and subject heading (keyword) Philosophy of Law are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
Tagged with: Case-law, Legal positivism, Legal realism, Legal theory, Natural law, Philosophy of law, Theories of justice
- Tzitzis, S., Introduction à la Philosophie du Droit, Paris, Vuibert, 2011.
- Buchanan, R., S. Motha and S. Pahuja (eds.), Reading Modern Law: Critical Methodologies and Sovereign Formations, Abingdon, Routledge, 2012.
- Wacks, R., Understanding Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Legal Theory, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Feinberg, J. and J. Coleman (eds.), Philosophy of Law, Belmont, CA, Thomson/Wadsworth, 2008.
- Arthur, J. and W.H. Shaw, Readings in the Philosophy of Law, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall, 2010.
- Carty, A., Philosophy of International Law, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2007.
- Besson, S. and J. Tasioulas (eds.), The Philosophy of International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010.
- Carty, A., Philosophy of International Law, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2007.
- Fichtelberg, A., Law at the Vanishing Point: a Philosophical Analysis of International Law, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2008.
- Freeman, M.D.A., Lloyd’s Introduction to Jurisprudence, London, Stevens, 2008.
- MacDonald, R.S.J. and D.M. Johnston (eds.), The Structure and Process of International Law: Essays in Legal Philosophy, Doctrine, and Theory, The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1983.
- May, L. and J. Brown (eds.), Philosophy of Law: Classic and Contemporary Readings, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
- Patterson, D. (ed.), An Anthology: Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Malden, MA, Blackwell, 2003.
- Riley, P., The Philosophers’ Philosophy of Law from the Seventeenth Century to Our Days, Dordrecht, Springer, 2009.
- Teson, F.R., A Philosophy of International Law, Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 1998.
- Buchanan, A. and D. Golove, “The Philosophy of International Law”, in The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 868-934.
- Teson, F.R., “Philosophy of International Law”, in Philosophy of Law: Classic and Contemporary Readings, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, pp. 187-199.
Periodicals, serial publications
- Acta Universitatis Danubius Juridica
- Archives de Philosophie du Droit
- Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy
- Droit et Société
- International Annual for Legal Philosophy and Legislation
- International Legal Theory
- Journal of Christian Jurisprudence
- Journal Jurisprudence
- Law and Critique
- Law and Philosophy
- Law & Social Inquiry
- Legal Ethics
- Natural Law Forum
- Netherlands Journal for Legal Philosophy and Jurisprudence
- Nomos : Yearbook of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy
- Notre Dame Journal of Law Ethics & Public Policy
- Rechtsphilosophie en Rechtstheorie
- Res Publica
- The American Journal of Jurisprudence
- The Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence
- The Journal of Philosophy, Science & Law
- The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics
- Theoretical Inquiries in Law
- Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities
- Philosophy of Law – Bibliographies at EpistemeLinks
- Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory : a Basic Bibliography, by Patrick O’Donnell
- Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory Bibliography from the Ratio Juris Blog
- Natural Law : a Select Bibliography from the Online Library of Liberty
- Natural Law Bibliography 1990-2010, by Mario Šilar
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Tzitzis, S., Introduction à la Philosophie du Droit, Paris, Vuibert, 2011.
Comprendre le droit aujourd’hui nécessite la recherche de ses racines. L’auteur s’attache ainsi à mettre en relief la nature, le caractère mais aussi le progrès continu de la philosophie du droit : philosophie à laquelle les pensées les plus diversifiées apportent leur contribution. Cet ouvrage comprend les avantages pédagogiques d’un manuel de philosophie du droit et constitue un outil essentiel pour les chercheurs et les amateurs de la discipline. L’auteur initie les étudiants à l’univers de la philosophie et de la théorie du droit tout en les conduisant à approfondir les concepts, les idées et courants qui sont à la base de la culture juridique. Parfaitement actualisé, cet ouvrage s’adresse notamment aux étudiants de première année de licence de droit. Il aborde l’intégralité de la philosophie du droit telle qu’elle apparaît traditionnellement dans les programmes des examens universitaires ainsi qu’au concours d’entrée à l’Ecole nationale de la Magistrature (ENM).View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Buchanan, R., S. Motha and S. Pahuja (eds.), Reading Modern Law: Critical Methodologies and Sovereign Formations, Abingdon, Routledge, 2012.
This book identifies and elaborates upon key critical methodologies for reading and writing about law in modernity. The force of law rests on determinate and localizable authorizations, as well as an expansive capacity to encompass what has not been pre-figured by an order of rules. The key question this dynamic of law raises is how legal forms might be deployed to confront and disrupt injustice. The urgency of this question must not eclipse the care its complexity demands. This book offers a critical methodology for addressing the many challenges thrown up by that question, whilst testifying to its complexity. The essays in this volume – engagements direct or oblique, with the work of Peter Fitzpatrick – chart a mode of resisting the proliferation of social scientific methods, as much as geo-political empire. The authors elaborate a critical and interdisciplinary treatment of law and modernity, and outline the pivotal role of sovereignty in contemporary formations of power, both national and international. From various overlapping vantage points, therefore, Reading Modern Law interrogates law’s relationship to power, as well as its relationship to the critical work of reading and writing about law in modernity.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Wacks, R., Understanding Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Legal Theory, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
With a clear, engaging, and informal writing style, Understanding Jurisprudence is the perfect guide for students new to legal theory and looking for a convenient and interesting starting point for this sometimes daunting subject. Key theories and theorists are introduced in a compact and manageable format, offering an accessible account of the central ideas without oversimplification. Further reading suggestions are included throughout, helping students to structure their research and navigate the many texts and articles available in this subject area. Critical questions are also included in each chapter, to encourage students to think analytically about the law and the key ideas and debates which surround it. Professor Wacks is an experienced teacher of jurisprudence and excels in providing a concise, student-friendly introduction to the subject, without avoiding the subtleties of this fascinating discipline.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Berman, P.S., Global Legal Pluralism: A Jurisprudence of Law Beyond Borders, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
We live in a world of legal pluralism, where a single act or actor is potentially regulated by multiple legal or quasi-legal regimes imposed by state, substate, transnational, supranational and nonstate communities. Navigating these spheres of complex overlapping legal authority is confusing and we cannot expect territorial borders to solve all these problems. At the same time, those hoping to create one universal set of legal rules are also likely to be disappointed by the sheer variety of human communities and interests. Instead, we need an alternative jurisprudence, one that seeks to create or preserve spaces for productive interaction among multiple, overlapping legal systems by developing procedural mechanisms, institutions and practices that aim to manage, without eliminating, the legal pluralism we see around us. Global Legal Pluralism provides a broad synthesis across a variety of legal doctrines and academic disciplines and offers a novel conceptualization of law and globalization.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Ernst, G. and J.C. Heilinger, The Philosophy of Human Rights: Contemporary Controversies, Berlin, De Gruyter, 2012.
The notion of “human rights” is widely used in political and moral discussions. The core idea, that all human beings have some inalienable basic rights, is appealing and has an eminently practical function: It allows moral criticism of various wrongs and calls for action in order to prevent them. On the other hand it is unclear what exactly a human right is. Human rights lack a convincing conceptual foundation that would be able to compel the wrong-doer to accept human rights claims as well-founded. Hence the practical function faces theoretical doubts. The present collection takes up the tension between the wide political use of human rights claims and the intellectual skepticism about them. In particular two major issues are identified that call for conceptual clarification in order to better understand human rights claims both in theory and in practice: the question of how to justify human rights and the tension between universal normative claims and particular moralities.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Douzinas, C. and C. Perrin (eds.), Critical Legal Theory, New York, NY, Routledge, 2012.
Critical Legal Theory has conventionally been traced to the social, political, and philosophical movements of the 1960s and, before that, to the early-twentieth-century ‘realist’ critique of modern jurisprudence. In truth, however, its origins go back to classical and pre-modern thought, and to their acknowledgement of the centrality of law in attempts to conceive of the good life, or the just polity—a centrality that is, moreover, also discernible in the recent gravitation of a number of contemporary philosophers and theorists (such as Habermas, Derrida, Agamben, Luhmann, Latour) towards law. Against the ‘restricted’ and ‘conservative’ character of modern jurisprudence, Critical Legal Theory constitutes a return to this more general interest in law and legality. Exceeding (if not exploding) the limits of jurisprudence, it has, moreover, drawn upon the most ancient and most contemporary traditions of critical thought in order to pursue new ways of understanding, living, and imagining the law. Critical Legal Theory is now an established—if heterogeneous and controversial—field of study, represented by numerous international journals, regional organizations, and global conferences. As the field continues to flourish as never before, this new title in Routledge’s Major Works series, Critical Concepts in Law, meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of a rapidly growing and ever more complex corpus of literature. Indeed, it is a landmark collection of Critical Legal Theory’s principal sources, orientations, movements, and themes. The first volume in the collection (‘Critical Legal Origins’) illuminates the foundations of Critical Legal Theory in contemporary continental thought, as well as providing an account of its institutional history. Volume II (‘Critical Legal Orientations’), meanwhile, examines the ways in which Critical Legal Theory has addressed and problematized conventional jurisprudential ideas about law, drawing upon the insights of philosophy, as well as other disciplines. Volume III (‘Critical Legal Movements’) assembles the best and most influential research to provide an overview of the movements that characterize the field. The scholarship assembled in the final volume (‘Critical Legal Themes’) brings together the key work to explore a range of substantial themes with which Critical Legal Theorists have engaged. Supplemented with a full index and comprehensive introductions, newly written by the editors, which situate the collected material in the context of more general theoretical traditions, as well as in critical relation to jurisprudence, Critical Legal Theory is destined to be valued by scholars, students, and researchers as a vital resource.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Feinberg, J. and J. Coleman (eds.), Philosophy of Law, Belmont, CA, Thomson/Wadsworth, 2008.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Arthur, J. and W.H. Shaw, Readings in the Philosophy of Law, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall, 2010.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Carty, A., Philosophy of International Law, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2007.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
US court rules that US government funding for stem cell research breaks law protecting human embryos
The Obama Administration is in favor of human embryonic stem cell research. Further research alongside other kinds of stem cell experimentation is vital to science and further medical study. It could help us understand the process of cell transformation and how diseases such as diabetes and blindness could be treated. James Sherley, an MIT scientist, and several other scientists however oppose to human embryonic stem cell research. They filed a case against the decision of the Obama administration to federally fund embryonic stem cell use research. The Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the federal funding of stem cell research breaks law protecting human embryos.Read more
Should animals have their own lawyers in court to protect their rights and dignity?
Dan Piraro – BizarroRead more
Animals are treated in an ambivalent way. On the one hand we look at them as adorable animals, which we keep as pets, or which we love and admire from a distance, in a wildlife reserve or behind glass in the zoo. Most pets are loved by their owners – [...]
- Brian Leiter’s Legal Philosophy Blog
- Cambridge Forum for Legal and Political Philosophy
- International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy
- Legal Theory Blog, by Lawrence B. Solum
- Oxford Centre for Ethics and Philosophy of Law
- Philosophy of Law, by Beverley Brown and Neil MacCormick
- Philosophy of Law, by Kenneth Einar Himma
- Philosophy of Law, The Paideia Archive
- Yale Center for Law and Philosophy