Philosophy, Law and the Family: A New Introduction to the Philosophy of Law

Genre: Non Fiction

Book Summary

This book is an introduction to the philosophy of law with an emphasis on philosophical problems in family law. It provides a survey of the classic problems discussed in most philosophy of law textbooks,for example: What is the relationship between law and morality? How should the U.S. Constitution be interpreted when deciding the constitutionality of state or federal law? What should be the aim of punishment in criminal law? Each of these questions are discussed through the lens of cases taken from U.S. family law. The book also contains chapters on issues that are exclusive to family law: How should the rules on marriage be constructed? What qualifications for marriage should be enacted and applied? What exit rules from marriage (divorce) should we adopt? What legal rights and duties should society grant to married couples? To parents? To children? Should children be allowed to sue their parents for negligent torts? Should intraspousal contracts be enforceable? What adjustments to family law suggested by feminists and contemporary legal realists should we adopt and which should we reject?

About the Author

Laurence Houlgate is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles and subsequently held professorships at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and George Mason University, Virginia. He has published many articles in philosophy and law journals and is the author of several books: The Child and the State (Johns Hopkins UP, 1980), Family and State (Rowman and Littlefield, 1990), Morals, Marriage and Parenthood (Wadsworth, 1999).
His most recent publications are three books in his Smart Student's Guide to Philosophical Classics series: Understanding Plato: The Smart Student's Guide to the Socratic Dialogues and the Republic (Amazon Kindle, 2016); Understandng John Locke: The
Smart Student's Guide to Locke's Second Treatise of Government (2017); and Understanding John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism and On Liberty (2018).

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