The Concept Of The Nature Of Law Essay

The Concept Of The Nature Of Law Essay

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Throughout this paper I will identify and discuss five philosophers as well as their theories on the concept of the nature of law. The five philosophers that I will be discussing are as follows; John Austin, H.L.A. Hart, Lon Fuller, Joseph Raz and Thomas Aquinas. I will also be answering three key questions about each philosopher and their philosophy.
John Austin viewed law as a legal positivism, which is a term that separates moral rules of positive law, and suggested, “Where there is law, there are patterns of commanding and obeying” (Murphy, Mark 2006, p. 17). Law starts with society therefore, without society and the people that make up our society laws would seize to exist. This idea would connect with law as a social phenomenon. Austin believed that commands reinforced by threats of sanctions from an authoritative figure was the main reason people obeyed laws.
I feel that Austin’s view is logical and consistent as well as persuasive in certain circumstance but not all. Take laws in a jail for example, they would relate to having a pattern of commands that are supported by threats from the prison warden. However, the laws of contracts do not hold commands reinforced by threats to give out sanctions if not followed. Contract laws are not commanding, unless said contract is broken. Austin’s view would be consistent in reference to prison laws, but not contract laws. Due to the fact that prison laws need to be consistent to keep order among the inmates and contract laws are not consistent because they change to fit whatever circumstance or situation that occurs.
In my personal opinion Austin’s argument is influential when it comes to prison laws but not contract laws. Prison laws advisee the offenders to act in a parti...


... middle of paper ...


...e basic human rights. Aquinas feels that in order for people to live well they need to be part of a bigger society which I do not agree with. For instance the Native Americans lived and survived just fine in their small tribes until Americans came and ruined it all. Aquinas’s view that everybody should naturally have basic human rights is logical and consistent as well as persuasive.
In conclusion philosophers over the years and continue to explore the question of what the law is. Many philosophers try to clarify what the meaning behind law is by developing efficient theories about it. The basic concepts of law, according to Murphy is that “law is a social phenomenon, law is authoritative, and the law is for the common good.” (Murphy, Mark 2006 p. 4) Each philosopher instills and holds onto those common places of law in theories in different understandable ways.


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