The term jurisprudence, known also as legal theory, is the theoretical study of law. People who study this discipline are known as jurists or legal theorists and have the aim to understand the legal reasoning, institutions, and systems, as well as the role that law has in society.
Modern jurisprudence started in the 18th century and focused on the principles of the natural law, civil law and the law of nations.
Jurisprudence can be classified into different categories, depending on the type of question jurists try to answer. The main branches of jurisprudence are natural law, analytic jurisprudence and normative jurisprudence.
Natural law is a major branch of jurisprudence which focuses on the idea that there are rational limits to the power of legislative leaders.
Analytic jurisprudence concentrates on the neutral point of view and descriptive language used when outlining the aspects of legal systems.
Finally, normative jurisprudence focuses on the goals of the law, as well as the moral and political theories which are at the base of law.
Analytic jurisprudence and normative jurisprudence are the core aspects of the philosophy of law - a branch of philosophy and jurisprudence which tries to answer basic questions about law and legal systems.
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