With over sixty cases as support, this text presents the philosophy of law as a perpetual series of debates with overlapping lines and cross connections. Using law as a focus to bring into relief many social and political issues of pressing importance in contemporary society, this book encourages readers to think critically and philosophically.
Classic Readings and Cases in the Philosophy of Law centers on five major questions:
What is law?
What, if any, connection must there be between law and morality?
When should law be used to restrict the liberty of individuals?
To what extent should democratic states permit civil disobedience?
What, if anything, justifies the infliction of punishment on those who violate the law?
The extensive anthology of cases covers the mundane to the grandest of constitutional issues, including controversial topics like ownership of genetic material, capital punishment, and gay rights. Brief introductions to each case describe the central issue being litigated, the legal reasoning of the justices–both majority and dissenting–the decision of the court, and its philosophical significance.