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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Is law really colour-blind and gender-blind?

The Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction by Raymond Wacks
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.

March 2, 2007 By Ronald H. Clark (WASHINGTON, DC USA) - See all my reviews The book is divided into 6 chapters. The topics are Natural Law (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Finnis and Fuller); Legal Positivism (Hart, Bentham, Austin, Kelsen, Raz); Law as Interpretation (devoted to Dworkin); Rights and Justice (Hohfeld, Posner, Rawls); Law and Society (Durkheim, Weber, Marx, Habermas, Foucault); and Critical Legal Theory (CLS, Unger, Lacan, Derrida, feminist legal theory, critical race theory). This is a lot to cover in a full-sized volume, but amazingly there is much solid analysis and discussion built into this small paperback. It is the perfect device for those wanting to refresh their familiarity with the jurisprudential field; it also serves as an effective and skillfully-written introduction for those new to the topic. There are many additional interesting titles in this Oxford series that I plan to explore--what a great idea!

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