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H.L.A. Hart; Jurisprudence; Legal Positivism; political philosophy


This short essay argues that legal philosophy has grown excessively insular. It identifies three ways in which this has happened: jurisprudence has become isolated from legal practice, it has adopted a methodology that encourages a separation between legal philosophy and other interdisciplinary approaches to law as well as other branches of philosophy, and it is committed to the substantive view that looks at law as a distinct social practice. The result has been a discipline that speaks on ever narrower problems mostly with itself. After presenting this state of affairs, the essay proposes various possible ways of changing jurisprudence to make it less isolated and more engaged. They include closer links with legal practice, political philosophy, science, and a rethinking of jurisprudential theories as models rather than a search for the 'nature' of law.