Philosophy of Law: The Fundamentals

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9781405129602: Philosophy of Law: The Fundamentals

The Philosophy of Law is a broad-reaching text that guides readers through the basic analytical and normative issues in the field, highlighting key historical and contemporary thinkers and offering a unified treatment of the various issues in the philosophy of law.


  • Enlivened with numerous, everyday examples to illustrate various concepts of law.
  • Employs the idea of three central commonplaces about law - that law is a social matter, that law is authoritative, and that law is for the common good - to organize seemingly disparate topics and to bring rival views into contention with each other.
  • The first volume in the Fundamentals of Philosophy series, in which leading philosophers explore the fundamental issues and core problems in the major sub-disciplines of philosophy.

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From the Back Cover:

Beginning with the deceptively simple question "What is law?" Philosophy of Law introduces readers to the basic analytical and normative issues in the field. The volume is a wide-ranging text that discusses the concepts of law, highlights key historical and contemporary thinkers who have shaped the discourse, and provides a unified treatment of the various issues in the philosophy of law.

Murphy frames the discussion with three central commonplaces about law: that it is authoritative, that it is a social matter, and that it is for the common good. Enlivened with numerous everyday examples, this text is an important resource for students coming to the subject for the first time.

About the Author:


Mark C. Murphy is Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University, where he works in moral, political, and legal philosophy. He is the author of Natural Law and Practical Rationality (2001), An Essay on Divine Authority (2002), and Natural Law in Jurisprudence and Politics (2006), and the editor of Alasdair MacIntyre (2003).

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