Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Info

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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. Legal
philosophy, or jurisprudence, explores the notion of law and its role in
society, illuminating its meaning and its relation to the universal
questions of justice, rights, and morality.
In this Very
Short Introduction
Raymond Wacks analyzes the nature and purpose of
the legal system, and the practice by courts, lawyers, and judges.
Wacks reveals the intriguing and challenging nature of legal philosophy
with clarity and enthusiasm, providing an enlightening guide to the
central questions of legal theory.
In this revised edition Wacks
makes a number of updates including new material on legal realism,
changes to the approach to the analysis of law and legal theory, and
makes updates to historical and anthropological
jurisprudence.
About the Series:
Oxford's
Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original
introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology,
Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the
Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series
provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and
complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or
field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the
subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how
it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every
major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and
abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems
important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general
reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable
guide that will likely prove indispensable.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions):

4

Nov 16, 2015

The progression of ideas is coherent (though minimal in content) and allows the reader to move in known paths even as exposure to legal theory and jurisprudence is gradually increased. Close parallels with sociology and philosophy pretty much dictates this, but still, well executed. All in all, a good introductory work.
0

Jun 05, 2016

Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #147), Raymond Wacks

Spanning philosophy, law, politics, and economics, and discussing a range of topics including women's rights, racism, the environment, and ...
1

Jan 08, 2017

سلسله کتاب های مختصر و مفید از انتشارات دانشگاه آکسفورد را به طور کلی می پسندم. کتاب فلسفه حقوق را اما به جای نشر ماهی و پیش از آن که این انتشارات اقدام به ترجمه سلسله مورد نظر کند، دو نفر با دو ناشر در ایران ترجمه کردند. یکی از آن ها همین خانم فاطمه آبیار است. دکتر رحمت الهی که خود نظارت بر این ترجمه را بر عهده داشته است، می گوید ترجمه آبیار روان و خوش فهم است. با این حال اما من قبول ندارم و ترجمه انصاری را بیش تر می پسندم. «فلسفه حقوق» یک بیان تاریخی از مبانی نظری این دانش و نیز تحلیلی کوتاه و سلسله کتاب های مختصر و مفید از انتشارات دانشگاه آکسفورد را به طور کلی می پسندم. کتاب فلسفه حقوق را اما به جای نشر ماهی و پیش از آن که این انتشارات اقدام به ترجمه سلسله مورد نظر کند، دو نفر با دو ناشر در ایران ترجمه کردند. یکی از آن ها همین خانم فاطمه آبیار است. دکتر رحمت الهی که خود نظارت بر این ترجمه را بر عهده داشته است، می گوید ترجمه آبیار روان و خوش فهم است. با این حال اما من قبول ندارم و ترجمه انصاری را بیش تر می پسندم. «فلسفه حقوق» یک بیان تاریخی از مبانی نظری این دانش و نیز تحلیلی کوتاه و مختصر از آن ها است. ...more
0

May 09, 2016

Her ne kadar kitabın tanıtım yazısında hukuk uygulayıcılarına ve hukukçu olmayanlara için hukuk felsefesini tanıtım amacı güttüğü söylense de bence hukukçu olmayan, bu konularda kulak dolgunluğu da olmayan birinin bu kitapta kaybolabileceğini söyleyebilirim.

Kitap altı bölümden oluşmakta:

- Doğal Hukuk
- Hukuki Pozitivizm
- Yorum Olarak Hukuk
- Haklar ve Adalet
- Hukuk ve Toplum
- Eleştirel Hukuk Kuramı

Akademik bir amaç gütmeksizin kitabın yazıldığı da belirtilmiş, ki okurken bu amacın olmadığını da Her ne kadar kitabın tanıtım yazısında hukuk uygulayıcılarına ve hukukçu olmayanlara için hukuk felsefesini tanıtım amacı güttüğü söylense de bence hukukçu olmayan, bu konularda kulak dolgunluğu da olmayan birinin bu kitapta kaybolabileceğini söyleyebilirim.

Kitap altı bölümden oluşmakta:

- Doğal Hukuk
- Hukuki Pozitivizm
- Yorum Olarak Hukuk
- Haklar ve Adalet
- Hukuk ve Toplum
- Eleştirel Hukuk Kuramı

Akademik bir amaç gütmeksizin kitabın yazıldığı da belirtilmiş, ki okurken bu amacın olmadığını da görmek mümkün. Ben, özelliklere sonlara doğru, ara ara ne neydi, neden bahsediyorduk diye durup düşündüm. Yine de hukukçu olmayan birine bile hitap etme özelliği olduğu söyleniyorsa bence daha açıklayıcı ve daha sistematik bir anlatım tarzının kullanılması çok daha iyi olurdu. Bunun yanı sıra her ne kadar bunun "kısa bir giriş" kitabı olduğunun bilincinde olsam da biraz fazla "kısa" geldi bana. Bana göre önemli olan bazı konular fazlaca yüzeysel geldi. Ayrıca hukuk felsefesi açısından önemli olan bazı okullara yer verilmemiş. Buna ek olarak sanırım bu türlü metinleri orijinal dillerinden okumak daha doğru bir tercih; çünkü zaman zaman günlük dilde farklı bir anlamda kullanılan kelime akademik yazında bambaşka bir anlamda kullanılıyor ve çevirmenler motomot çeviri yapayım derken ortaya pek de anlamı olmayan bir cümle çıkıveriyor. Zaman zaman acaba orijinal metindeki cümle nasıldı diye düşünmeden duramadım ben de, belirtmek zorundayım bunu da.
...more
2

Jun 08, 2015

Unfortunately, this book is useless. The brevity associated with the Oxford Introduction series doesn’t work well when the intention is to give an introduction to such a large subject. Wacks leaves aside a lot of very important thinkers and gives only a very brief, unsatisfying and misleading account of many others, the ones who get a more detailed and adequate explanation being of Anglo – American tradition.

Anyway, I understand well enough some of the theories presented to see that some of Unfortunately, this book is useless. The brevity associated with the Oxford Introduction series doesn’t work well when the intention is to give an introduction to such a large subject. Wacks leaves aside a lot of very important thinkers and gives only a very brief, unsatisfying and misleading account of many others, the ones who get a more detailed and adequate explanation being of Anglo – American tradition.

Anyway, I understand well enough some of the theories presented to see that some of Wacks’ explanations are really misleading and confuse. I wouldn’t rely on him if I wanted to learn something new.
...more
3

Jul 09, 2013

A short introduction to the philosophy of law written from a Western (especially English and American) perspective.
4

Jan 14, 2019

Raymond Wacks' Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction is an exceptionally lucid overview of the origins and critical debates behind legal tradition. What sets this book apart is how it conveys a greater narrative of legal philosophy that both evolves and transforms as the reader is confronted with new approaches of understanding the law. Unlike Wacks' other book in the same series, Law: A Very Short Introduction, Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction is often engaging and Raymond Wacks' Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction is an exceptionally lucid overview of the origins and critical debates behind legal tradition. What sets this book apart is how it conveys a greater narrative of legal philosophy that both evolves and transforms as the reader is confronted with new approaches of understanding the law. Unlike Wacks' other book in the same series, Law: A Very Short Introduction, Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction is often engaging and straightforward. My only criticism is the book's limited detail - an obvious consequence of the series' format. ...more
3

Nov 18, 2018

I started reading this book not knowing too much about philosophy of law, and I think I know more now, but I'm not sure that I won't forget it all in the coming days. I think that Wacks wrote quite well and the topics were mostly fairly interesting. I am slightly concerned that he wasn't giving a totally accurate explanation of some of what he was discussing, but that sort of rigour may just be a necessary sacrifice in such a short book. (I have this concern due to some slightly misleading I started reading this book not knowing too much about philosophy of law, and I think I know more now, but I'm not sure that I won't forget it all in the coming days. I think that Wacks wrote quite well and the topics were mostly fairly interesting. I am slightly concerned that he wasn't giving a totally accurate explanation of some of what he was discussing, but that sort of rigour may just be a necessary sacrifice in such a short book. (I have this concern due to some slightly misleading comments he said about a utilitarian understanding of rights.) Overall, a pretty quick, painless, and (possibly) educational read. ...more
4

Jun 05, 2019

Gotta love a truly “pocketbook” this was my go to read ... had it in my suit pocket and would take it out while I’m waiting rooms that don’t allow cellphone use...

The book’s title pretty much explains it.

It’s basic and short. I appreciate the author’s capacity for summarizing a difficult subject
5

Feb 01, 2018

It may be brief but it does assume you have at least SOME working knowledge of philosophy and law. Wonderfully written and filled with relevant, essential content.
4

Apr 19, 2018

Wacks在短短的几章里面描述了法律和道德与权利之间的关系,还有法律对社会凝结力的影响,以及法律是否对某些群体比如女性和有色种族产生结构性压迫。我个人第一遍读有些吃力,第二遍读的时候就感觉出Wacks写的非常简洁明了。
5

Aug 31, 2018

Capítulos 2 e 3 têm a melhor introdução do debate Hart vs Dworkin que você acha por aí.
4

Apr 24, 2016

A good overview, although the author's biases show through at times - particularly in the brief discussion of the "law and economics" movement where we see far more push back than any other section.

It is not the last word on the topic, nor should we hold Mr. Wacks's descriptions to be final. This is, like any of the Oxford UP Very Short Introduction books, an invitation to inquiry. Yes, some of the descriptions of ideas may not be perfect, but I know have at least an idea of what natural law, A good overview, although the author's biases show through at times - particularly in the brief discussion of the "law and economics" movement where we see far more push back than any other section.

It is not the last word on the topic, nor should we hold Mr. Wacks's descriptions to be final. This is, like any of the Oxford UP Very Short Introduction books, an invitation to inquiry. Yes, some of the descriptions of ideas may not be perfect, but I know have at least an idea of what natural law, legal positivism, Dworkin-ism, etc. have to say. I did enjoy Mr. Wacks delving into political philosophy a little with his brief overviews of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Dworkin got his own chapter, which in hindsight was a little surprising.

I read the second edition, and it showed. Some sections were not edited, and paragraphs repeated what the immediately preceding paragraph said. This seemed to be an issue earlier in the book and not later. It's as if the author rewrote certain paragraphs to flesh out the ideas in it a little more, stuck the paragraph into the appropriate spot, and the editors never took out the old one. It's not terrible, but looks a little sloppy - which is surprising of an OUP print - and hurt my overall rating. ...more
2

Feb 10, 2017

What a lazy introduction. It's like reading someone's lecture notes.
5

Aug 01, 2016

A concise survey of topics in the philosophy of law, some of it a revisiting of my coursework back in the early 90s when I was then mostly a naive undergrad, and most of it new and exciting and inevitably putting a quite interesting lens over current legal issues and concerns, which though given new intensity by the ongoing struggles with the nature, scope, meaning and purpose of law with regards to gender, race, oppression, power, rights, and so on, are nevertheless not adequately dealt with in A concise survey of topics in the philosophy of law, some of it a revisiting of my coursework back in the early 90s when I was then mostly a naive undergrad, and most of it new and exciting and inevitably putting a quite interesting lens over current legal issues and concerns, which though given new intensity by the ongoing struggles with the nature, scope, meaning and purpose of law with regards to gender, race, oppression, power, rights, and so on, are nevertheless not adequately dealt with in the foundational (metaphysical) and "law in action" (positivist, realist) approaches most law and jurisprudence practitioners are contended with. While these new topics are still being worked on and articulated and debated, what could be anticipated in the development of the philosophy of law, perhaps when a newfangled social order manages to crop up post-capitalism and post-jurisprudence, is something that could be sufficiently challenging to law's tradition and law's promise. Or if it were to be a post-order, then wherefor law. ...more
2

Sep 21, 2014

Raymond Wacks writes in the preface to this book,"Brevity is not a virtue normally associated with the law...law books are weighty...this series, however, obliges its authors to slim down, to compress, to abridge - without oversimplifying the subject of the book".
And, ironically, his words turn out to be true, at least for this book. Due to its emphasis on brevity, while trying to give an introduction and essentials of various schools of legal philosophy, it has become an examination guide. This Raymond Wacks writes in the preface to this book,"Brevity is not a virtue normally associated with the law...law books are weighty...this series, however, obliges its authors to slim down, to compress, to abridge - without oversimplifying the subject of the book".
And, ironically, his words turn out to be true, at least for this book. Due to its emphasis on brevity, while trying to give an introduction and essentials of various schools of legal philosophy, it has become an examination guide. This book is useless for a layman. It can only serve as a quick revision guide for a person who has read about these philosophies in past. ...more
3

Nov 02, 2013

This book was good in that it made me aware that, in addition to the idiots in Congress who are passing laws, we do actually have intelligent, thoughtful, reasonable people who are thinking, talking, writing, and analyzing law, too. But beyond that, I didn't particularly enjoy the read. It's a personal preference, though, and doesn't reflect on the book. It seems well organized and thorough and, surprisingly relatively easy to follow.

We need to use the word Byzantine way more often when This book was good in that it made me aware that, in addition to the idiots in Congress who are passing laws, we do actually have intelligent, thoughtful, reasonable people who are thinking, talking, writing, and analyzing law, too. But beyond that, I didn't particularly enjoy the read. It's a personal preference, though, and doesn't reflect on the book. It seems well organized and thorough and, surprisingly relatively easy to follow.

We need to use the word Byzantine way more often when describing our legal system, though. ...more
2

May 02, 2016

TL;DR: A broad, if irregular, introduction to the core issues of philosophy of law.

2 1/2 stars, rounded down due to some sharp falls in quality on specific issues.

As expected from a Very Short Introduction, the book focuses on a few currents, especially those seen as more relevant in the Anglo-American legal traditions. Yet, the book gives a surprisingly reduced space to currents such as the economic analysis of law, and sometimes presents those schools with a clearer bias than what is seen, TL;DR: A broad, if irregular, introduction to the core issues of philosophy of law.

2 1/2 stars, rounded down due to some sharp falls in quality on specific issues.

As expected from a Very Short Introduction, the book focuses on a few currents, especially those seen as more relevant in the Anglo-American legal traditions. Yet, the book gives a surprisingly reduced space to currents such as the economic analysis of law, and sometimes presents those schools with a clearer bias than what is seen, for example, on the author's discussion of Dworkin's concept of the law. ...more
3

Apr 24, 2014

This is a helpful introduction to the different philosophies of law. Some material was giving rather more space than I thought it should have, especially the post-modern theories of law.

I appreciated the fine distinctions that have been made about law and morality. I also find some of the jurists amazingly ... confident ... about their epistemologies. Especially those that thought that a set of rules could be set up in such a way that every possible permutation was covered. Umm ... heard of This is a helpful introduction to the different philosophies of law. Some material was giving rather more space than I thought it should have, especially the post-modern theories of law.

I appreciated the fine distinctions that have been made about law and morality. I also find some of the jurists amazingly ... confident ... about their epistemologies. Especially those that thought that a set of rules could be set up in such a way that every possible permutation was covered. Umm ... heard of Godel? :D I'm excited to pursue some of the further reading, especially Rawls.



...more
4

Mar 02, 2016

Things I learnt reading this book:
(1) I know nothing, or very close to nothing.
(2) I am a partisan on various contradictory sides in various debates without even realising it.

Chapter 1: Natural law
Chapter 2: Legal positivism
Chapter 3: Dworkin: the moral integrity of law
Chapter 4: Rights and justice
Chapter 5: Law and society
Chapter 6: Critical legal theory
Chapter 7: Understanding law: a very short epilogue
3

Jan 24, 2015

Interesting introduction to complex ideas and theories, but lacks clarity at some points (possibly due to having to cram so many different ideas into 100-odd pages). I think some key terms definitely need operating definitions (in layman terms) for the book's target audience to appreciate. Sentences can also be shortened for clarity.
0

Jan 27, 2013

Accessible, overview on the role of law. In a nutshell. But, therefore it makes you think; are we using the law in the right sense in our societies? There must be a better way where we could have virtues citizens and less law. Everything in life layer down in rules to follow. Is that goog?
2

Jun 28, 2012

Kind of a law for dummies. I learned a little bit but some parts are really dumbed down or watered down. The feminist part is terrible and don't bother to learn about how law deals with civil rights issues. There are plenty of other books for that.
2

Dec 19, 2012

3 điểm cho quyển sách + 1 điểm người dịch = 2 điểm :))
0

Dec 27, 2014

Great book. Highly recommended for law students, especially someone lazy like me lol

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