With a clear, engaging, and informal style, Understanding Jurisprudence is the perfect guide for students new to legal theory looking for a handy and stimulating starting point to this sometimes daunting subject. Key theories and theorists are introduced in a compact and practicable 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 jurisprudence’s extensive literature. Critical questions are also included in each chapter, to encourage students to think analytically about the law and legal theory, and the numerous debates that it generates. The author is an experienced teacher of jurisprudence and excels at providing a concise, student-friendly introduction to the subject, without avoiding the subtleties of this absorbing discipline. New to this, the book’s fifth edition, are: the most recent scholarship in several areas, including the social and political developments that have influenced the law and legal theory; expanded chapters on natural law, legal positivism, rights, and theories of justice; revised discussions of virtue ethics, human and animal rights, the economic analysis of law, and feminist theories; and updated suggested further reading lists and questions at the end of each chapter.
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- 1. What’s it all about?
- 2. Natural law and morality
- 3. Classical legal positivism
- 4. Modern legal positivism
- 5. Law and moral legitimacy
- 6. Legal realism
- 7. Law and social theory
- 8. Historical and anthropological jurisprudence
- 9. Theories of justice
- 10. Rights
- 11. Why obey the law?
- 12. Why punish?
- 13. Critical legal theory
- 14. Feminist theory
- 15. Jurisprudence understood?