//The importance of the philosophy of law – Gustavo Mirabal Castro
Philosophy of Law

The importance of the philosophy of law – Gustavo Mirabal Castro

The great importance of the philosophy of law lies in seeing the foundations of law but having a balance in relation to ethics and the values that are immersed in it. In this sense, we will address what is related to the philosophy of law.

The philosophy of law is the branch of knowledge that lays the foundations of universal law. In this way the evolution of the philosophy of law has evolved:

  • Laws
  • Rules and regulations
  • Human relationships
  • Relations between men and institutions, whether governmental or private

Let us remember that from the reflection on law arise the forms of government and the foundations of society. For example, from the philosophy of law arise:

  • The idea of the king as possessing wisdom and sovereignty for the application of the law
  • The idea that then not even the king is above the laws and therefore constitutional monarchies arise.
  • Constitutionalism that regularizes and regulates the relations of the state and citizens.

But all these examples will be landed later. Next, let’s discover what the philosophy of law is.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo a series that reflects on law and justice, from the philosophy of law perspective
Extraordinary Attorney Woo a series that reflects on law and justice, from the philosophy of law perspective

What is the philosophy of law and why is the philosophy of law important?

The philosophy of law is a branch of philosophy. This branch of philosophy is concerned with studying the fundamental bases and concepts of law.

Some of the topics researched and treated by the philosophy of law are:

  • The nature of rights and laws
  • The role of law in society.
  • Relationship of law with morality and justice.
  • The origin and evolution of law throughout history.

The philosophy of law is important because it allows a better understanding of the role of law in society. It explains how it affects individuals and the relationships between them.

The philosophy of law can also provide a solid theoretical basis for the development of fair and equitable policies and laws. Herein lies to a large extent the importance of the philosophy of law.

On the other hand, it can help us resolve conflicts and differences of opinion around the law and its application.

In short, the importance of the philosophy of law is based on its contribution to the construction of a just and equitable society.

Topics treated and researched by the philosophy of law.

There are many topics that are researched and dealt with through the philosophy of law. Some of the most relevant are:

  1. Nature of law: What is law and how is it defined? Is it something objective or subjective?
  2. Sources of law: What are the sources of law and what is their importance?
  3. Theories of law: What are the most important theories of law and how do they relate to each other?
  4. Relationship between law and morality: Is there a connection between law and morality? How can these two dimensions be balanced?
  5. Justice: What is justice and how can it be applied in law?
  6. Human rights: What are human rights and what is their importance in the philosophy of law?
  7. State theory: What is the state and how does it relate to law?
  8. Legal systems: What are the different legal systems and how do they differ from each other?

These are just some of the topics that are dealt with by the philosophy of law. But let’s move on to talk a little more about the importance of the philosophy of law.

The relevance of the philosophy of law

The right exercised with guiding values such as justice leads us to a much more harmonious and balanced world. If we add the sense of ethics, the values of the people who play a role in the judicial systems of the world, we would have the ideal of a perfect world. However, this is far from reality.

The philosophy of law is responsible for seeing the different currents of law and is seen in a much deeper and more detailed way. Understanding the arguments and why it applies in various contexts.

Another concept that we can mention from the philosophy of law: it is a branch of philosophy that has as its essence of study the being of law in relation to the vigor of the individual in a certain time and place. In addition, it seeks to contemplate the total perspective of the legal prodigy in inquiry into the moral, logical context of Law as such.

The Shawshank Redemption is a film that reflects on the sense of justice
The Shawshank Redemption is a film that reflects on the sense of justice


Philosophical study of the legal norm

The depth of the philosophy of law seeks to study the various currents of thought that support the law itself. In this way it is understood as the regulated and institutional disposition of society.

Among the areas of study we can find the following areas:

  • The exhaustive review of the law, as a phenomenon and as dogmatism, and of the legal norm in general. In addition, he studies it as a critical theory and as an ideology of legal practice.
  • Likewise, the Philosophy of Law discusses “the ends pursued by law”. In the same way it studies the general functions that it certainly fulfills and the integral principles that infuse it.
  • Deals with ideological issues from the legal point of view in relation to the practice of the rules. In addition, it addresses important aspects of law such as gnoseology, logic and legal argument.
  • The origin of the philosophy of law, theories of justice, the standards of juridical-political philosophical movement. These seek to make a deep review and internalize what refers to different legal components. Among them are the state, the law, government, equity, belonging, rights, and the diligence of a constitutional code for sovereignty.
  • The rights and autonomies that it must protect and why, as well as the form that it must protect and why. Also, the duties that the inhabitants have to a legitimate government.
  • For several authors, the Philosophy of Law returns to the knowledge of the broad meaning of justice.
  • Finally, the philosophical foundation of human rights. As well as the correspondence of law with different areas of knowledge such as: sociology, anthropology, psychology, morality.


The Theory of Law

The most relevant aspect of the philosophy of law has been formed by the study of the legal norm from a purely positive perspective. This arises, with this just qualifier, ending the eighteenth century and beginning the nineteenth century.

Until that time, the abstraction of philosophical representation related to the legal phenomenon had been framed based on the tradition of the political philosophy of natural, pedagogical, or idealistic law.

From the perspectives of positive laws, natural law was shown to be a legitimate order. Thus, natural law formed the ultimate rule of every human collectivity. Iuspositivist regulations reflect on legal classifications as human creations that unfold and evolve over time.

During the second half of the eighteenth century the concept of the term natural law is losing its predominance. From there, many works begin in which the hypothetical abstraction about legal institutions is covered with other terms.

We can see the evolution that various authors have given to the law:

  • For the year 1797 Kant uses the word theory of law.
  • The following year another author such as Gustav Hugo uses the philosophy of positive law.
  • In 1803 Jakob Fiedrich Fries used philosophical theory of law, and the term philosophy of law was used from the time of 1800 onwards by various authors.
  • Finally, in 1821 Hegel published in Berlin his “Principles of the Philosophy of Law”, which achieve a definitive resonance.


Important aspects of the theory of law

Legal ontology: This aims to explain the being of law, as well as what will be the essence of which will be reflected. Philosophy will achieve a notion of law that will serve as the basis for a later philosophical abstraction.

Legal axiology: Addresses the problem of legal values. This seeks to explain what are the values that will make considered a model of law. An example of this is that there is no death penalty in Europe. The prominent value in this case is that the state does not kill. This is considered of paramount importance for these countries.

Existential legal philosophy: This is framed in the field of anthropology. It enhances the correspondence between the individual and the legal reality. We cannot exclude man in the realization of law because humanity is the one who founds and employs the law.

Batman is one of the fictions where law and justice are constantly reflected upon
Batman is one of the fictions where law and justice are constantly reflected upon

The philosophy of law allows the evolution of laws in conjunction with man and society.

We can see how the philosophy of law focuses on justice. Likewise in legal certainty, in the application of values to the law among others.

In this regard, transparency in the application of laws is of the utmost importance. Since these are elaborated by men, applied by them and benefited by them. The latter usually differs since if the person is the perpetrator. Consequently, he is punished therefore he is harmed not by law. But because of the negative consequences of their actions.

In this way the philosophical framework of the law is adapted to society and with it the laws are adapted to society and man. In this way the legal establishment will become more “human” to the extent that society becomes more human. For Gustavo Mirabal it is a possibility of evolution for society as a whole avoiding the stagnation of the prevailing legality.