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Christian Michael A.

BA Political Science
Philo 175 THY
Exercise 1
1. State clearly five questions you want to ask about law.

What is law?
Why do people follow the law?
How does power relate to law?
What purpose does the law seek to achieve?
What political/moral theories offer the basis of law?

2. How can Philosophy help in answering those questions?

Having knowledge in philosophy can aid us in understanding these questions, and have a
better grasp of what these really mean so that we may be able to answer these questions
about law fully and clearly. In the study of jurisprudence, or the philosophy of law, it is
important to have knowledge about the universals; these are the ultimate substance and first
principles so we can make sense of everything. Universals are the foundation: if you know
it, it is as if you know everything rooted to it. According to John Gardner in his Why Study
Jurisprudence, we are investigating which propositions about law and legal life hold true
universally, not just legally. It is important for law students to also know about universals
because it would be easier for them to study and understand legal text.
We learned that jurisprudence has two main branches; the general and particular. Under
the particular branch are the Analytic Jurisprudence and Normative Jurisprudence. The
first three questions above fall under the analytic jurisprudence branch, given that we need to
analyse concepts and theories in order to find correct answers for it. In this, there are many
opposing views and interpretations which we need to consider in answering the questions. On
the other hand, the last two questions above fall under the normative jurisprudence branch. It
focuses on the normative and evaluative questions about law, and we must seek to study
these normative approaches in order to achieve full understanding.
We should also take into consideration that aside from the philosophy of law providing
you with excellent arguments, it also provides different perspectives of looking at things.
With this, we will see different approaches in answering these questions and we may
compare and contrast these views in seeking for the proper answer.

3. Do you agree with John Gardner in his Why Study Jurisprudence, Robert Burns in his
The Tasks of a Philosophy of Law, and Dennis Patterson in his Recent and Future
Concepts of Law: From Conceptual Analysis To Practice Theory of Law about their
observations of Philosophy of Law? Explain your answer.

Going back to the basics is one of the best ways to analyse a certain concept. In John
Gardners article, he explained that in order to understand law, we must first have
knowledge of the universals. In making sense of something, we must first look at the
foundation; that is, the first principle. I agree that if you know the universal or the
ultimate substance, you will be able to discern a wide array of information about that
specific concept. I also believe that studying philosophy of law will also contribute to our
excellent argumentation and multi-perspectivism in many things.
I also agree with the article of Robert Burns; that the philosopher of law must follow
certain tasks in order to become adequate. I also believe that the study of the philosophy
of law must be inter-disciplinary: we must not be constrained only to law but we must
seek to explore other social sciences given that the philosophy of law is not selfinterpreting. We learned that the philosopher of law must consider and have virtues
related other fields; for example its relation with politics and the like.
Lastly, I approve with Dennis Pattersons article Recent and Future Concepts of
Law: From Conceptual Analysis To Practice Theory of Law. I think that theory of law
must be practice-based, wherein we must observe the practice itself first, then later on
make conclusions. Relative to this, I agree that experience is nothing without practice.
We must have a duality of theory and practice, and take the opportunity to put into action
what we know and have learned. It is not always about knowing all the time, but also
importantly, about learning how to deliver.