Philosophy of Law

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Is there any practical value to philosophy Or, is philosophy simply a mental exercise as applied to the law Before we further probe this question, we should establish that there is indeed a philosophy of law. Once that has been established we can analyze whether or not it is of any practical value or simply a philosophical exercise.


"What philosophy is, or should be, is itself a philosophical question that philosophers have understood and treated differently through the ages." (Wikipedia Philosophy p1). Philosophy can also be defined as a "doctrine: a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school; the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics; any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation." (Princeton WordNet p1).
The second of the above definitions lends itself to our thesis. 'Some group or school' could be analogous to the legal profession; 'doctrine' could be analogous to the law; 'personal belief about how to live' could be analogous to an individual's virtue, morality, and ethics; and 'deal with a situation' could be analogous to entering into a negotiable instrument such as a contract. This second definition mentions most of the issues that have given rise to a wide ranging concatenation of philosophical treatise and thought concerning the philosophy behind and used in the creation of a body of laws meant to guide the individual in their dealings both in rem and in persona.
The philosophy of law could be said to trace its origins back before Plato and Aristotle established what contemporary society defines as virtue ethics (Wikipedia Philosophy of Law p1). ...
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