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I. Introduction

Jurisprudence (Latin jurisprudentia, from jus,"law," and prudentia,"knowledge"), knowledge of the law and its interpretation, or the science and philosophy of law. In ancient Rome the term was used in the former sense. Those who were so skilled in the law that they could decide a novel or doubtful case were called juris prudentes, whether or not they were judges, and the body of law built up by their interpretation was called juris prudentia. This development of law by interpretation is akin to what English-speaking peoples call "case" lawlaw arising from a body of decided cases; in France and Spain the term jurisprudence is still used in that sense.

II. Contemporary philosophy of law, which deals with general

jurisprudence, addresses problems in two rough groups:

1.) Problems internal to law and legal systems as such.

2.) Problems of law as a particular social institution as it relates to the larger political and social situation in which it exists.

Answers to these questions come from four primary schools of thought in general jurisprudence:

Natural law is the idea that there are rational objective limits to the power of

legislative rulers. The foundations of law are accessible through human reason and it is from these laws of nature that human-created laws gain whatever force they have. Legal Positivism, by contrast to natural law, holds that there is no necessary

connection between law and morality and that the force of law comes from some basic social facts although positivists differ on what those facts are. Legal Realism is a third theory of jurisprudence which argues that the real world

practice of law is what determines what law is; the law has the force that it does because of what legislators, judges, and executives do with it. Similar approaches have been developed in many different ways in Sociology of law. Critical Legal Studies is a younger theory of jurisprudence that has developed since the 1970s which is primarily a negative thesis that the law is largely contradictory and can be best analyzed as an expression of the policy goals of the dominant social group.

Legal philosophy has many characteristics, but three of them are the most common:

Natural law is a school of legal philosophy which considers that there are

invariable laws of nature which govern us, which are general to all human societies, and that our institutions should try to equal this natural law. Analytic jurisprudence is indicate to be an objective study of law in impartial conditions, distinguishing it from natural law, which evaluates legal systems and laws throughout the structure of natural law theory, asks questions like, "What is law?" "What are the criteria for legal validity?" or "What is the

relationship between law and morality?" and other such questions that legal philosophers may compromise. Normative jurisprudence looks at the intention of legal systems, and which sorts of laws are adequate, asks what law ought to be. It overlaps with moral and political philosophy, and contains questions of whether one ought to follow the law, on what grounds law-breakers might correctly be punished, the correct uses and limits of regulation, how judges ought to decide cases.

The theory of jurisprudence has been around for fairly a long time. Both the Ancient Greeks and Romans believed the philosophy of law, and earlier societies possibly did as well. The word itself is resulting from a Latin phrase, juris prudentia, significance the study, knowledge, or science of law.” As long as humans have had laws governing their activities, philosophers and commentators have been meditation about these laws and considering how they fit in with the societies which they are presumed to codify and protect.

Since law can frequently be slippery and incomprehensible, it may come as no revelation to learn that jurisprudence is exceptionally complicated and sometimes very confusing. Many of the world's most famous specialists and philosophers have at least dabbled in jurisprudence, elaborating dense tomes, complex arguments, and complicated expression. The study of jurisprudence is also essential for a good lawyer, because it guarantees that he or she deeply understands the law and the philosophical approaches which have been implicated in its conception.

Studying law does not automatically make someone a lawyer, even though it is a significant element of a legal education. For judges and other people who must infer, defend, or refuse the law, jurisprudence is a very important field of study, along with more general studies of history, society, and philosophy. Since laws are such an important emphasizing of society, jurisprudence can also offer important information about a nation and its people.

Modern jurisprudence and philosophy of law is influenced today principally by Western academics. The concepts of the Western legal tradition have become so enveloping all over the world that it is persuasive to see them as universal. Traditionally, however, many philosophers from other civilization have discussed the same questions, from Islamic scholars to the ancient Greeks.

III. Schools of Jurisprudence

The principal modern schools of jurisprudence are the natural-law school, the analytical school, the historical school, the comparative school, and the sociological school. The first three differ mainly in their views of the nature and origin of law and its relation to ethics.

To the natural-law jurist, law is antecedent to the state; to the analytical jurist, it is the creation of the state; and to the historical jurist, state and law are social products, developing side by side, each influencing the other. To the natural-law jurist, law is

cognizable by pure reason; to the analytical jurist, it is the command of the sovereign power; to the historical jurist, it is the formulated wisdom of men and women. To the natural-law jurist, law is applied ethics, and, in the extreme form of the theory, that which is not right is not law. To the analytical jurist, a law that commands what is ethically wrong or forbids what is ethically right is no less a law if it proceeds from the political sovereign. The historical jurist accepts this position taken by the analytical school, but points out that it is difficult for a lawmaker to act otherwise than in accord with the contemporary sense of right, and that laws which run counter to that sense are not likely to be enforced. Historical jurisprudence differs from analytical jurisprudence chiefly in emphasizing the great part played by social custom in developing and establishing law. To the analytical jurist, customary law, including judicial custom, is an anomaly that should be abolished by covering the whole field of social relations with written codes.

The natural-law school has its roots in Stoic philosophy and Roman jurisprudence; it was increasingly dominant in Europe from the Reformation to the close of the 18th century. The theory of the analytical school was first sharply formulated by the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan (1651). The views of this school, however, did not originate in England. The tendency to exalt the function of the legislator appeared on the Continent at the close of the Middle Ages and was associated with the efforts of the national states to rid themselves of the chaos of varying provincial and local customs that had taken form during the Middle Ages. This end could be attained only by national legislation and has been fully attained only by the adoption of national codes.

The historical school dates from the 19th century, as a reaction against natural-law ideas. Its principles were first clearly defined in 1814 by the German jurist Friedrich Karl von Savigny. The latest school, the comparative, of which the leading early exponents were the German legal scholar Rudolf von Jhering and Albert Hermann Post, represents a widening of the field of investigation. Each national law is studied historically and the various national systems are compared at similar stages of development. As a result of this process, not only may the normal course of legal development be discovered, but that which is universal and human may be separated from that which is particular to a single nation or to a special stage of development. Then, as Jhering hoped, it may eventually become possible to write a history of the law of the world. Among the leading British and American writers on comparative law were James Barr Ames, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Henry Maine, Frederick William Maitland, and Sir Frederick Pollock.

The sociological school of jurisprudence is largely a product of the 20th century. Its approach to the analysis of law differs from that of the other schools in that it is concerned less with the nature and origin of law than with its actual functions and end results. The proponents of sociological jurisprudence seek to view law within a broad social context rather than as an isolated phenomenon distinct from and independent of other means of social control. They are concerned with practical improvement of the legal system and feel that this can be achieved only if legislation and court adjudications take into account the findings of other branches of learning, particularly the social sciences. The American jurist Roscoe Pound was a prominent figure in the school of sociological jurisprudence.

Natural Law

(Greek Philosophy)

Natural law or the law of nature has been described as a law whose content is set by nature and is thus universal. As classically used, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. The phrase natural law is opposed to the positive law (meaning "man-made law", not "good law"; cf. posit) of a given political community, society, or nation-state, and thus can function as a standard by which to criticize that law In natural law jurisprudence, on the other hand, the content of positive law cannot be known without some reference to the natural law (or something like it). Used in this way, natural law can be invoked to criticize decisions about the statutes, but less so to criticize the law itself. Some use natural law synonymously with natural justice or natural right

Although natural law is often conflated with common law, the two are distinct in that natural law is a view that certain rights or values are inherent in or universally cognizable by virtue of human reason or human nature, while common law is the legal tradition whereby certain rights or values are legally cognizable by virtue of judicial recognition or articulation. Natural law theories have, however, exercised a profound influence on the development of English common law, and have featured greatly in the philosophies of Thomas Aquinas, Francisco Suárez, Richard Hooker, Thomas Hobbes, Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf, John Locke, Francis Hutcheson, Jean Jacques Burlamaqui, and Emmerich de Vattel. Because of the intersection between natural law and natural rights, it has been cited as a component in United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. The essence of Declarationism is that the founding of the United States is based on Natural law.

Greek Philosophy

The Greeks had the Cosmos and understood that there is a Logos embeded in the Cosmos. Doric Philosophy which Pythagoreanian philosophy is a part of, studied this Res naturalis. Is it safe to say that the res naturalis of the Romans is the Logos for the Greek? Is there a Greek word for the Natural Law? or is it just the Logos? Doric Philosophy which studied the Logos is synonymous with the natural Law. The main concepts in Greek are "kataphysin", according to nature, or "para physin,"contrary to nature.

In words of Plato- ""Many strands are interwoven in the dialogues but always at the center as their meaning is the Greek insight that Reason, the logos, is nature steering all things from within. In this approach nature is neither supernatural nor material; it is an organic whole, and man is not outside nature but within it"".

Looking at the Nature, the Greeks saw Order. And that Order presupposes Reason/Intelligence. The Reason/Intelligence that guided, directed and constructed the Natural Order is the Logos. The discovery and apprehension of the Natural Law is

what Greek Philosophy is; or more importantly Doric Philosophy.

Meaning and Definition of Natural Law

There is no unanimity about the definition and exact meaning of Natural Law. In

jurisprudence the term „Natural Law‟ means those rules and principles which are

supposed to have originated from some supreme source other than any political or worldly authority. It is basically a priori method different from empirical method, the forms, accepts things or conclusions in relation to a subject as they are without any need or enquiry or observation while empirical or a posteriori approach tries to find out the causes and reason in relation to the subject matter. It symbolizes Physical Law of Nature based on moral ideals which has universal applicability at all places and terms. It has often been used either to defend a change or to maintain status quo according to needs and requirement of the time. For example, Locke used Natural

Law as an instrument of change but Hobbes used it to maintain status quo in the society.

The concepts of „Rule of Law‟ in England and India and „due process‟ in

USA are essentially based on Natural Law. Natural Law is eternal and unalterable, as having existed from the commencement of the world, uncreated and immutable. Natural Law is not made by man; it is only discovered by him. Natural Law is not enforced by any external agency. Natural Law is not promulgated by legislation; it is an outcome of preaching of philosophers, prophets, saints etc. and thus in a sense, it is a higher form of law. Natural Law has no formal written Code. Also there is neither precise penalty for its violation nor any specific reward for abiding by its rules. Natural Law has an eternal lasting value which is immutable. Natural Law is also termed as Divine Law, Law of Nature, Law of God, etc. Divine Law means the

command of God imposed upon men. Natural Law is also the Law of Reason, as being established by that reason by which the world is governed, and also as being

addressed to and perceived by the rational of nature of man. It is also the Universal or Common Law as being of universal validity, the same in all places and binding on all peoples, and not one thing at Athens. Lastly in modern times we find it termed as

“moral law” as being the expression of the principles of morality.

The Natural Law denies the possibility of any rigid separation of the „is‟ and „ought‟ aspect of law and believes that such a separation is unnecessarily causing

confusing in the field of law. The supporters of Natural Law argue that the notions of

„justice‟, „right‟ or „reason‟ have been drawn from the nature of man and the Law of

Nature and, therefore, this aspect cannot be completely eliminated from the purview of law. It has generally been considered as an ideal source of law with invariant contents.

Evolution, Growth and Decline of Natural Law

The content of „Natural Law‟ has varied from time to time according to the purpose

for which it has been used and the function it is required to perform to suit the needs

of the time and circumstances. Therefore, the evolution and development of „Natural

Law‟ has been through various stages which may broadly be studied under the

following heads:

(1) Ancient Period (2) Medieval Period (3) Renaissance Period (4) Modern period


The use of natural law, in its various incarnations, has varied widely through its history. There are a number of different theories of natural law, differing from each other with respect to the role that morality plays in determining the authority of legal norms. This article will deal with its usages separately rather than attempt to unify them into a single theory.

 Plato

Although Plato does not have an explicit theory of natural law (he almost never uses the phrase natural law except in Gorgias 484 and Timaeus 83e), his concept of nature, according to John Wild, contains some of the elements found in many natural law theories. According to Plato we live in an orderly universe. At the basis of this orderly universe or nature are the forms, most fundamentally the Form of the Good, which Plato describes as "the brightest region of Being". The Form of the Good is the cause of all things and when it is seen it leads a person to act wisely. In the Symposium, the Good is closely identified with the Beautiful. Also in the Symposium, Plato describes how the experience of the Beautiful by Socrates enables him to resist the temptations of wealth and sex. In the Republic, the ideal community is “a city which would be established in accordance with nature.”

 Aristotle

Greek philosophy emphasized the distinction between "nature" (physis, φúσις) on the one hand and "law", "custom", or "convention" (nomos, νóμος) on the other. What the law commanded varied from place to place, but what was "by nature" should be the same everywhere. A "law of nature" would therefore have had the flavor more of a paradox than something which obviously existed. Against the conventionalism that the distinction between nature and custom could engender, Socrates and his philosophic heirs, Plato and Aristotle, posited the existence of natural justice or natural right (dikaion physikon, δικαιον φυσικον, Latin ius naturale). Of these, Aristotle is often said to be the father of natural law.

Aristotle's association with natural law is due largely to the interpretation given to his works by Thomas Aquinas. This was based on Aquinas's conflation of natural law and natural right, the latter of which Aristotle posits in Book V of the Nicomachean Ethics (Book IV of the Eudemian Ethics). Aquinas's influence was such as to affect a number of early translations of these passages, though more recent translations render them more literally. Aristotle notes that natural justice is a species of political justice, viz. the scheme of distributive and corrective justice that would be established under the best political community; were this to take the form of law, this could be called a natural law, though Aristotle does not discuss this and suggests in the Politics that the best regime may not rule by law at all. The best evidence of Aristotle's having thought there was a natural law comes from the Rhetoric, where Aristotle notes that, aside from the "particular" laws that each people has set up for itself, there is a "common" law that is according to nature. The context of this remark, however, suggests only that Aristotle advised that it could be rhetorically advantageous to appeal to such a law, especially when the "particular" law of one's own city was averse to the case being made, not that there actually was such a law; Aristotle, moreover, considered two of the three candidates for a universally valid, natural law provided in this passage to be wrong. Aristotle's theoretical paternity of the natural law tradition is consequently disputed.

Stoic natural law

The development of this tradition of natural justice into one of natural law is usually attributed to the Stoics. The rise of natural law as a universal system coincided with the rise of large empires and kingdoms in the Greek world. Whereas the "higher" law to which Aristotle suggested one could appeal was emphatically natural, in contradistinction to being the result of divine positive legislation, the Stoic natural law was indifferent to the divine or natural source of the law: the Stoics asserted the existence of a rational and purposeful order to the universe (a divine or eternal law),

and the means by which a rational being lived in accordance with this order was the natural law, which spelled out action that accorded with virtue.

As the historian A.J. Carlyle notes: "There is no change in political theory so startling in its completeness as the change from the theory of Aristotle to the later

philosophical view represented by Cicero and Seneca

We think that this cannot be

.... better exemplified than with regard to the theory of the equality of human nature." Charles H. McIlwain likewise observes that "the idea of the equality of men is the profoundest contribution of the Stoics to political thought" and that "its greatest

influence is in the changed conception of law that in part resulted from it."

 Cicero

Cicero wrote in his De Legibus that both justice and law derive their origin from God. For Cicero, natural law obliges us to contribute to the general good of the larger society. The purpose of positive laws is to provide for "the safety of citizens, the preservation of states, and the tranquility and happiness of human life." In this view, "wicked and unjust statutes" are "anything but 'laws,'" because "in the very definition of the term 'law' there inheres the idea and principle of choosing what is just and true." Law, for Cicero, "ought to be a reformer of vice and an incentive to virtue."Cicero expressed the view that "the virtues which we ought to cultivate, always tend to our own happiness, and that the best means of promoting them consists in living with men in that perfect union and charity which are cemented by mutual benefits."

Cicero influenced the discussion of natural law for many centuries to come, up through the era of the American Revolution. The jurisprudence of the Roman Empire

was rooted in Cicero, who held "an extraordinary grip

upon the imagination of

. . . posterity" as "the medium for the propagation of those ideas which informed the law and institutions of the empire." Cicero's conception of natural law "found its way to later centuries notably through the writings of Saint Isidore of Seville and the Decretum of Gratian." Thomas Aquinas, in his summary of medieval natural law, quoted Cicero's statement that "nature" and "custom" were the sources of a society's laws.

The Renaissance Florentine chancellor Leonardo Bruni praised Cicero as the man "who carried philosophy from Greece to Italy, and nourished it with the golden river of his eloquence." The legal culture of Elizabethan England, exemplified by Sir Edward Coke, was "steeped in Ciceronian rhetoric." The Scottish moral philosopher Francis Hutcheson, as a student at Glasgow, "was attracted most by Cicero, for whom he always professed the greatest admiration." More generally in eighteenth-century Great Britain, Cicero's name was a household word among educated people.

Likewise, "in the admiration of early Americans Cicero took pride of place as orator, political theorist, stylist, and moralist."

The libertarian English polemicist Thomas Gordon "incorporated Cicero into the radical ideological tradition that travelled from the mother country to the colonies in the course of the eighteenth century and decisively shaped early American political culture." Cicero's description of the immutable, eternal, and universal natural law was quoted by Burlamaqui and later by the American revolutionary legal scholar James Wilson Cicero became John Adams's "foremost model of public service, republican virtue, and forensic eloquence." Adams wrote of Cicero that "as all the ages of the world have not produced a greater statesman and philosopher united in the same character, his authority should have great weight." Thomas Jefferson "first encountered Cicero as a schoolboy learning Latin, and continued to read his letters and discourses as long as he lived. He admired him as a patriot, valued his opinions as a moral philosopher, and there is little doubt that he looked upon Cicero's life, with his love of study and aristocratic country life, as a model for his own." Jefferson described Cicero as "the father of eloquence and philosophy."

HenceMy Observation-

The core problem with the theory of natural law is that it devolves into an appeal to the obvious - that its principles are so self-evident that they need no further validation. Even the ancient Greeks who originally postulated the universality of natural law found the concept to be exceptionally flexible. The law of the jungle is the only truly natural behavioral law, and it defines the basic default form of interaction for all species. No part of what humans call ethics exist within the behavioral laws of nature. So if natural law requires an existing context and secular ethics aren't found in nature, where did we get the fundamental philosophical building blocks on which to build our civilization? The short answer is the same way we've gained most of our knowledge - simple trial and error, with acquired wisdom being largely the ability to remember what happened the last time. Concepts like the natural law postulated by the ancient Greeks may have appeared useful when fighting the false claims of higher authority by the British Crown, but today such ideas threaten the basis of our free society by attempting to offer a false higher authority that appears superior to the principles of secular ethic