1 Jurisprudence iii (2010)

handle is hein.journals/jisprud1 and id is 1 raw text is: Editorial

jurisprudence provides a forum for scholarly writing in the philosophy of law. Its aim
is to encourage papers, both short and long, which cast light upon the distinctive
form of association (governance through law) that has come down to us in the West.
Life under the governance of law is both familiar and mysterious. As with any
familiar object, our notions of law and government are the subject of vague and
possibly contradictory expectations which seem to demand criticism and
justification (when we think about them) even when they are not easily disposable.
The reflection that is demanded tends rather to deepen their mystery than increase
familiarity. Perhaps this is not very surprising: the activity of philosophical reflection
is that of subjecting what seemed familiar and unproblematic to question; and the
best philosophies are not those which seek to entrench or defend settled 'positions',
but which convey a sense of the depth and permanence of the problems to which
they are a response.
The phenomena of law and government occupy a central place in the human
condition. Consequently, thisjournal, under the direction of its editorial board, will
seek to publish scholarly research that explores the relation of jurisprudential
questions with those of moral and political philosophy, the philosophy of religion
and of mind, and which draws upon perspectives from history, anthropology,
sociology, and cultural and literary studies. In addition, the Reviews section of the
journal will provide readers with information and debate concerning relevant work
in legal and political thought. Our aim is to include, along with shorter reviews,
more in-depth analyses of significant works from several points of view, sometimes
with a response from the author. From time to time, we shall also publish symposia
and special editions intended to focus on a particular issue in greater depth. Finally,
we shall institute an Annual Lecture in Jurisprudence (sponsored by Hart
Publishing), the text of which will appear in a subsequent issue of thejournal.
In keeping with these ambitions, the articles in this first issue reflect upon issues
of wide importance and significance in jurisprudence. Nigel Simmonds considers
the reflexivity that legal thought and practice exhibit, insofar as they relate to the
idea of law. He regards law as an intellectual svstem structured by general ideas and
doctrinal traditions, and analyses the shortcomings in established theories of law
(positivist and non-positivist alike) as stemming in part from their denial or
exclusion of the law's reflexive nature. Brian Bix writes on law and language.
Drawing upon examples in contract and family law, he argues that we are often led
astray by inaccuracies in the use of language: some of which belong anyway to the
nature of language, others that owe their existence to formalities in legal practice.
Not only do these phenomena lead to faulty reasoning (as demonstrated in the case-
law), they also 'change our substantive views about what is natural or what is right'.
There follow two articles on the legal philosophy of Joseph Raz. Allan
Hutchinson regards Raz's work, underlined by the recent publication of Between
Authority and Interpretation, as a 'high-water mark' of analytical jurisprudence. But

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