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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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This book is now Out of Print.
A new edition has been published, the details can be seen here:
Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction 2nd ed isbn 9780199687008

Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction

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ISBN13: 9780192806918
ISBN: 0192806912
New Edition ISBN: 9780199687008
Published: May 2006
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Pocketbook
Price: Out of print

The concept of law lies at the heart of our social and political life, shaping the character of our community and underlying issues from racism and abortion to human rights and international war.

But what actually is law? A set of naturally occurring moral principles, or simply rules agreed by a particular society? What is a 'right' and what rights should people actually have? Is law really colour-blind and gender-blind? Can the law truly tell us whether gay marriages are immoral, what's wrong with racism, or whether we should go to war?

Revealing the intriguing and challenging nature of legal philosophy with clarity and enthusiasm, Raymond Wacks explores the notion of law and its role in our lives. Referring to key thinkers from Aristotle to Rawls, Bentham, Dworkin, H.L.A. Hart and Derrida, he looks at the central questions behind legal theory that have fascinated lawyers and philosophers - and anyone - who ever wondered about law's relation to justice, morality, and democracy.

  • A lively and accessible introduction to the social, moral, and cultural foundations of law.
  • Highly topical - issues such as the war in Iraq and treatment of terror suspects call into question the nature of law.
  • Takes a broad scope - spanning philosophy, law, politics, economics, and discusses a range of topics including women's rights, racism, and the environment.

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1. Natural law
2. Legal positivism
3. Law as interpretation
4. Rights and justice
5. Law and society
6. Critical legal theory