The philosophy of law: how will you define it?

We all know what the law is? We are social animals and we live in a society run by us. If you want to live with others in a friendly environment, you must follow the basic rules and principles that are laid down to bring clarity and efficiency to the social structure. However, that does not mean that we all know the definition of law. If someone asks you what the exact definition of law is, you may not be able to answer, since philosophers and scholars have done their best to find the precise way of defining law that will be appropriate in each circumstance. Since the very beginning of society, different schools of philosophers and social reformers have extensively researched to come up with the proper definition about law and to what extent it plays an important role in changing our society.

There are many opinions and views on the law and the legal machinery. In a simple way, many will tell you that law means a set of rules and norms that are designed for the modification of society or for the regulation of behavior. In plain terms, it’s okay as we are required to follow the basic principles and rules to bring transparency and clarity to our pattern of behavior and character.

However, the survey does not end here. If we think deeper and broader, we all face a number of shortcomings in defining the law in a brief framework. If the law is intended for a regulatory device of norms and regulations, then it must lose its importance. The rules cannot fulfill duties or regulate society independently. For the execution of the laws, there must be the proper provision of another system, such as the application to enact laws. The existence of prison charges and penalties is the by-product of such legal machinery. Therefore, the meaning of the law is somehow lost in the middle. The law has a broader meaning that magnifies different aspects of the society and also produces a great impact in modifying the human character.

Again, there are two conceptions or mentalities to explain the law correctly. In case the law is a body of rules, how these rules and regulations operate. It must be prescriptive. That means how fantastically a person behaves or reacts. On the other hand, it is descriptive. That means how most of society behaves.

If the law is prescriptive, he must learn from his childhood how to perform his duties legally without overriding the legal machinery of society. Second, if the law is for descriptive purposes, there is the following problem about the authenticity of such a statement or belief. Should society be branded descriptive, there should be doubt and confusion about the exact role of the authoritarian force. The law is based on a strong communicative force that will link society, man and the state also to form a society within a legal framework. Society will be built on mutual understanding and agreement.

There are many well known philosophers like Aristotle, Dworkin and HLA Hart who have tried to give a clear conception of law. However, research continues to find the exact definition of the law that will be applicable to each country and society as a whole. Numerous schools, research centers, universities and social institutions have been built so far to continue the research work to explain the true nature of law in a broad perspective.

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