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Normative Jurisprudence
An Introduction


Part of Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy and Law

  • Author: Robin West, Georgetown University, Washington DC
  • Date Published: August 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521738293

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About the Authors
  • Normative Jurisprudence aims to reinvigorate normative legal scholarship that both criticizes positive law and suggests reforms for it, on the basis of stated moral values and legalistic ideals. It looks sequentially and in detail at the three major traditions in jurisprudence – natural law, legal positivism and critical legal studies – that have in the past provided philosophical foundations for just such normative scholarship. Over the last fifty years or so, all of these traditions, although for different reasons, have taken a number of different turns – toward empirical analysis, conceptual analysis or Foucaultian critique – and away from straightforward normative criticism. As a result, normative legal scholarship – scholarship that is aimed at criticism and reform – is now lacking a foundation in jurisprudential thought. The book criticizes those developments and suggests a return, albeit with different and in many ways larger challenges, to this traditional understanding of the purpose of legal scholarship.

    • Can be read by any educated audience and uses ordinary, non-specialized language
    • Explores what is distinctive about legal scholarship and indirectly the persona of the legal scholar
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521738293
    • length: 220 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.36kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Revitalizing natural law
    2. Legal positivism, censorial jurisprudence, and legal reform
    3. Critical legal studies – the missing years
    4. Reconstructing normative jurisprudence.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Federal Legislative & Administrative Clinic
    • Literature and the Law
  • Author

    Robin West, Georgetown University, Washington DC
    Robin West is an Associate Dean for Research and Frederick Haas Professor of Law and Philosophy at the Georgetown University Law Center. She is the author of several books and more than a hundred articles on issues in feminist legal theory, law and literature, law and humanities, jurisprudence and constitutional law and theory, most recently, Marriage, Sexuality, and Gender (2007) and Re-Imagining Justice (2003). She is the recipient of a J. B. White Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and Humanities and she has held the John Carroll Research Chair at Georgetown.

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