5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This is the 2009 second edition. The first edition was published in 2005. There are many introductory books on jurisprudence, and because the subject is wide ranging and complex, the range of books also varies not only in repect of the authors' ability to present difficult concepts in simple terms, but also in the diversity of the subject matter covered by such books. Raymond Wacks has produced an excellent book on both counts. First, he has described in the simplest manner complex subjects such as legal positivism and legal realism. Secondly, he has chosen some of the most relevant areas to explain how opposing views are contested. His summaries of the Hart v Fuller debate as well as the Hart v Devlin Debate are excellent examples. Every student of jurisprudence is expected to encounter these debates. Reading Wacks before hand is a good guide to a better understanding. Wacks also covers the jurisprudence of well known philosophers such as Jurgen Habermas, Henry Maine, and Karl Marx, and he also has outstanding chapters on two of the more elusive ideas in law - justice and rights. His coverage on natural Law is a little sparse compared to his coverage of legal positivism. This is probably the best book for the student who has no idea what jurisprudence is about, and it is also a very good refresher for the experienced lawyer who has forgotten his basics. For those who would like a little more, the eighth edition of "Lloyd's Introduction to Jurisprudence" has just been published, and that is an excellent book for the more advanced student. Its 1587 pages include excerpts from primary writings. Raymond Wacks book has 383 pages of text.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is a very useful introduction to jurisprudence. The set text for our course is Legal Philosophies by Harris. We were told by our lecturer not to buy this book. I am very glad I ignored his advice. Where Harris is dense and difficult to follow, Wack is clear and understandable. What I do now is to read the relevant chapter in Wack which then gives me a steer as to where Harris is going. Wack does say that this book is intended only as an introduction to the subject and should be supplemented by other texts. I say, thank heavens for Professor Wack.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2012
I am studying jurisprudence as a compulsory module and despise it, this text book has made the subject much more accessible and has enabled me to gain a much better understanding. It is quite basic, but the recommended articles at the end of each chapter enables the reader to develop on the basics. Definitely recommend this book.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2007
Really excellent book when trying to understand what role morality should play in law and should people prima facie obey the law. Covers natural law and positivism as well as numerous other theories (marxism etc...)
Very good for guiding you through the tricky issues that jurisprudence or ethics in law has and well worth buying if you are on a law degree course or even if you are studying philosophy.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2010
This book clearly and accurately explains the main concepts of jurisprudence. It does an excellent job of breaking down these difficult concepts and making them more manageable for a student to understand. It is the book to read before delving into more complicated articles and original works by some of the people it mentions.
It is also excellent value and arrived within 3 days of ordering!