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    STUDIA IURISPRUDENTIA - Issue no. 3 / 2009  
         
  Article:   THE CONCEPT OF LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHICAL REFLECTION.

Authors:  BJARNE MELKEVIK.
 
       
         
  Abstract:  Historically, the philosophy of law has provided a dynamic and influential framework in which to identify, explain, produce and develop the rationality needed so as to come to terms with the fundamental issues and questions raised by the democratic experience. Currently, far reaching policy questions are being raised throughout the world concerning the present and future of democracy; and specifically the role of the law in the formation of the democratic experience; but the foundations and horizons of the problems appear to be left on edge. Legal students, researchers and practitioners are expected to produce knowledge and perspectives capable of addressing such needs. In such a historical context, the relevance of the philosophy of law to explore and contribute to the ongoing formative and transformative processes of democratic legal cultures needs to be reconsidered. Accordingly, this article reviews briefly the historical role of the philosophy of law in the processes associated to the conceptual understanding of the law, so as to reveal its identity as a legal discipline and its relevance as a framework for analysis and deliberation on the nature and role of the law. In so doing, the article reconsiders some of the traditional ontological, epistemological and ethical questions which characterize the exercise of the philosophy of law, and depicts the importance of inclusive, communicative and participatory experiences, as necessary conditions in the emergence of the legal philosophical framework needed so as to contribute to the needs of contemporary democracy.

Keywords: Philosophy of Law, Law, Ontology, Epistemology, Ethics, Democracy
 
         
     
         
         
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