The Philosophy of Law

The Viewpoint of Law

When we think about law, and what law suggests to us as a society, all of us have a smart idea, or rather an inherent sense, of exactly what law is and the kind of things to anticipate. However aiming to put an accurate meaning on what law is somewhat more of a difficult task. This very concern lies at the heart of the study of jurisprudence, or legal philosophy. Considering that early civilisation, philosophers and thinkers have actually worked with a view to developing a conclusive meaning of exactly what law is and where it fits in to the community. From these efforts have actually developed significant ‘schools’ of thought which demonstrate ideas and principles distinct from one and other yet equally valid in their analyses.

When asked ‘exactly what is law?’, the majority of people will proffer a preliminary action along the lines of ‘law is guidelines’, or on a more complicated level, ‘law is the rules that manage our behaviour’. This fundamental response is really extremely legitimate, and real it forms the cornerstone of various schools of thought. Nevertheless, posturing a little more penetrating questions raises doubts regarding the credibility of this declaration, and casts doubt over a large agreement of lay-opinion on the matter. For instance, if the law is a regulatory body of guidelines, then by itself it is ineffective. Rules alone can certainly just set criteria at many, and can never look for to regulate separately. In order to provide this regulative element, there is a requirement for something more; there is a requirement for enforcement, or browbeating. In our society, this is offered by the threat of sanctions like jail and fines. Therefore our traditional concept of law as ‘guidelines’ is deeply flawed: law needs to be more of an interaction in between guidelines and a physical persuasion. To puts it simply, we require some inspiration to follow the law, partially as a consequence of our nature as human beings, to keep us within its limits and to keep up above its line of governance, for that reason there is more required to offer a precise description than this simple straightforward concept.

Think about also this essential point in figuring out the nature of law at a conceptual level. If the law, as we see it, is a body of rules, in what sense do these guidelines run, i.e. are the prescriptive (how one need to behave), or descriptive (how most of society behave). If it is authoritative, there would basically be a requirement for every single person to find out the law from a young age in order to guarantee consistency with the proscriptive body of legislation. If on the other hand it is detailed of how society behaves, this raises the issue of authority: the way society acts is not an objective principle, therefore why should any provided individual or body of people be afforded a subjective look at what is ideal and exactly what is wrong? In a country with strong basic liberties, it is a lot more peculiar that the law is permitted to operate, if it were to operate in this sense. Rather it would appear more apt to consider law as a relationship between individuals internally (with other people) and with the state, with an aspect of shared consensus in accomplishing the pertinent social ends.

From this standard analysis of the conceptual nature of law, it is obvious that there is scope for argument. So much so, legal scholars have for generations looked for scholastic argumentation and competitors with other authors. From Aristotle to Dworkin to HLA Hart and beyond, the principle of the nature of law is one which is both remarkable and intricate, with lots of facets and cautions yet to be explored. In a global legal context, the study of jurisprudence transcends jurisdiction and particular legal training moving to the worlds of independent idea and observation. However the nature of law is a popular scholastic study, along with an interesting and believed provoking subject for the ‘daily’ person topic to its governance.


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