jurisprudence

(redirected from Legal philosopher)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.
Related to Legal philosopher: Philosophy of law

jurisprudence

(jo͝or'ĭspro͞od`əns), study of the nature and the origin and development of lawlaw,
rules of conduct of any organized society, however simple or small, that are enforced by threat of punishment if they are violated. Modern law has a wide sweep and regulates many branches of conduct.
..... Click the link for more information.
. It is variously regarded as a branch of ethics or of sociology. Many of the major systematic philosophers (e.g., Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Kant) have expounded jurisprudential theories. Before the 19th cent. most jurisprudents adhered to natural lawnatural law,
theory that some laws are basic and fundamental to human nature and are discoverable by human reason without reference to specific legislative enactments or judicial decisions.
..... Click the link for more information.
, which maintained that sound legal doctrine was derivable only from a supposed law of nature established by divine ordinance. The natural-law school did not deny that the details of legal regulation depended upon the will of the sovereign. However, the positivist, or analytical, school, which first became important in the late 18th cent., insisted that law was entirely a matter of sovereign decree, distinct from morality and theology. Among important 19th-century trends was the view, represented by SavignySavigny, Friedrich Karl von
, 1779–1861, German jurist and legal historian, a founder of the historical school of jurisprudence. He taught (1810–42) Roman law at the Univ. of Berlin, of which he was the first rector.
..... Click the link for more information.
, that a people's legal system expressed the national spirit. In the mid-19th cent. many jurisprudents attempted to avoid what they felt were theoretical preconceptions and to demonstrate a uniform evolution from primitive times to modern industrialized society. Other thinkers were skeptical of evolutionary explanations and sought the basic principles underlying all systems of law in various fields, including economics and psychology. Among the more important legal thinkers in the United States have been Learned HandHand, Learned
, 1872–1961, American jurist, b. Albany, N.Y. He received his law degree from Harvard in 1896. He was a judge of the U.S. District Court for New York's Southern District (1909–24) and of the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals (1924–51).
..... Click the link for more information.
, Oliver Wendell HolmesHolmes, Oliver Wendell,
1841–1935, American jurist, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1902–32), b. Boston; son of the writer Oliver Wendell Holmes.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and Roscoe PoundPound, Roscoe,
1870–1964, American jurist, b. Lincoln, Nebr. He studied (1889–90) at Harvard law school, but never received a law degree. Pound was a prominent botanist as well as a jurist, and spent his early years in Nebraska practicing and teaching law,
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Bibliography

See J. Hall, ed., Readings in Jurisprudence (1938); W. S. Carpenter, Foundations of Modern Jurisprudence (1958); D. Lloyd, Introduction to Jurisprudence (3d ed. 1972).

jurisprudence

legal and sociological theories which seek to situate the body of laws and legal institutions in an overall social context. Thus, jurisprudence to some extent overlaps with the SOCIOLOGY OF LAW.

Historically, it is possible to identify the following subdivisions of jurisprudence:

  1. legal positivism, e.g. Kelsen's conception of law as an objectively statable, hierarchical system of norms, or Hart's view of law as resting on ‘basic norms’. This view of law has been seen as ‘in tune’ with traditional legal professionalism, and viewed by its practitioners as involving theories requiring little input from social science. Jeremy BENTHAM's application of utilitarianism to legal reform can also be seen as a form of legal positivism;
  2. natural law theories (see NATURAL RIGHTS AND NATURAL LAW), theories which were a main target of the legal positivists;
  3. historical and evolutionary theories, e.g. MAINE's theories, and Savigny's account of laws as reflecting the custom or Volkgeist of a nation or people;
  4. conflict theories, theories which emphasize the conflicts of interest underlying the formation and social control functions of legal systems, e.g. Roscoe Pound's ‘pluralism’;
  5. legal realism, US approaches influenced by PRAGMATISM, which emphasized the social basis, and fluid, ‘living character’ of law.

All of the above approaches have exerted an influence on the sociology of law, but a recent resurgence of sociolegal studies has owed much to a new vein of empirical sociological studies of legal systems and he operation of the law.

jurisprudence

1. the science or philosophy of law
2. a system or body of law
3. a branch of law
www.iisj.es
References in periodicals archive ?
Ponder the oddity of a legal philosopher declaring that
We are fortunate indeed to have now a sensitive and perceptive biography that enhances our understanding of this remarkable legal philosopher.
This collection pays worthy tribute to a leading legal philosopher, using his writings as a basis for considering the enduring, many-sided dilemma of relating the universal and the particular in legal and moral reasoning.
The legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin had the temerity to suggest that the complicated questions raised by democratic politics were hardly so cooperative as to fall into such neat categories.
The legal philosopher Don Regan on my faculty has published both a leading book of philosophy and a two-hundred page, definitive law review article on the Dormant Commerce Clause.
As such, this book contains much that should be of interest not only to moral and legal philosophers of human rights, but also to a wider audience of scholars concerned with law and legitimacy within the wider political system of global governance.
While litigators devote countless hours to the nuances of "e-discovery", "deposition training" and "effective advocacy in mediation", academic lawyers who study legal systems, particularly legal philosophers, bore deeper and deeper into subjects like judicial decision-making, the ideological bias inherent in judicial systems or the linguistic deconstruction of judicial opinions.
Loughnan points out in the first chapter that legal philosophers have tended to concentrate on the concept of criminal responsibility when examining the insanity defence and its more modern counterparts.
On September 12th, 1945, after twelve years of national-socialist regime and six years of another world war, Gustav Radbruch, one of the most notable jurists and legal philosophers in Germany, circulated among the students of Heidelberg Law School his notorious text "Five minutes of Legal Philosophy".
Nearly all of the 10 constitutional philosophers the author discusses were Protestants; Eidsmoe presents them as men who were positioned to ascertain the weaknesses of the Greek and Roman legal systems and of the canon law; "the legal philosophers heard 'echoes of Eden' and called the world back to this ancient Law of Nature as the basis for modern law and the guarantor of modern liberty.
Dworkin is one of the leading legal philosophers of the last fifty years, who has been engaged in debates extending over decades with other legal philosophers and whose work has been the subject of voluminous commentary.
Legal philosophers can and should pay careful attention to our differences, but they must not be exaggerated.