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McCoubrey & White's Textbook on Jurisprudence

Fifth Edition

James Penner and Emmanuel Melissaris

August 2012

ISBN: 9780199584345

304 pages

In Stock

Price: £47.99

Broad in scope, supportive in appraoch:the ideal companion text for further reading and research



Logically organized to support the topics commonly taught on jurisprudence and legal theory courses, this text provides an easy-to-follow and digestible account of this wide-ranging subject, making it the ideal companion text for further reading and research throughout your course.

  • Covers a wide range of philosophies, including feminist and post-modern legal theory, and Marxist and post-Marxist theories of law, making it a suitable guide for most jurisprudence courses
  • Dedicated chapters introduce key theorists such as Hobbes, Kant, Rawls, placing their ideas in context to support the reading of primary materials and extracts
  • Extended discussion of H.L.A. Hart explains the importance of The Concept of Law and provides analysis of the development of legal theory prior to and post-Hart.
  • End of chapter further reading suggestions assist with further research and essay preparation
  • Fully supports readers throughout their legal theory studies, providing a solid base for further research and allowing you to approach this daunting subject area with confidence
  • Clearly breaks down the complexities of the subject and explains sophisticated ideas without oversimplification

New to this edition

  • Substantial revision of Part 1: Theories of the Nature of Law
  • New discussion of philosophical issues in law, featuring three new chapters: The Building Blocks of Law: Norms and their Nature; Governing and Obedience; and Law and Adjudication
  • New chapters on the political and legal philosophies of Thomas Hobbes, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls
  • Substantial revision of chapters on Marxism and postmodern legal theory

About the Author(s)

James Penner, Professor of Law, University College London, and Emmanuel Melissaris, Senior Lecturer in Law, London School of Economics

James Penner is Professor of Law at University College London. He previously taught at London School of Economics for seven years. His primary research interests are the law of trusts, the philosophy of property, and the philosophy of law. He is author of The Law of Trusts 8e (OUP, 2012) and The Idea of Property in Law (OUP, 1997), and co-editor (with David Schiff and Richard Nobles) of Introduction to Jurisprudence and Legal Theory: Commentary and Materials (OUP, 2002).

Emmanuel Melissaris is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the London School of Economics. His research interests lie mainly in the philosophy of law and criminal law theory. He is the author of Ubiquitous Law: Legal Theory and the Space for Legal Theory (Ashgate, 2009).

Table of Contents

    1:What is Jurisprudence?
    Part 1: Theories of the Nature of Law
    2:Natural Law
    3:Classical Legal Positivism: Bentham, Austin, and Kelsen
    4:Hart: The Critical Project
    5:Hart's Theory of Law
    6:Post-Hart Analytical Philosophy of Law: Dworkin and Raz
    Part 2: Particular Philosophical Issues in Law
    7:The Building Blocks of Law: Norms and their Nature
    8:Governing and Obedience
    9:Law and Adjudication
    Part 3: The Intellectual Foundations of the Liberal Social Contract Tradition
    10:The Legal and Political Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes
    11:The Legal and Political Philosophy of Immanuel Kant
    12:John Rawls' Political Liberalism
    Part 4: Against and Beyond Liberalism
    13:Marxist and Post-Marxist Theories of Law
    14:Feminist Legal Theory
    15:Postmodern Legal Theory


Review from previous edition This title is clearly written, well-researched, well laid out and of great value to students. I consider this to be an excellent undergraduate textbook which I have no hesitation in recommending to my students. - Barry Collins, Lecturer in Law, University of East London

A useful and clear book that will underpin a jurisprudence course - Sue Warnock, Lecturer in Law, Bournemouth University