Cover: Legality, from Harvard University PressCover: Legality in PAPERBACK


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$24.00 • £19.95 • €21.50

ISBN 9780674725782

Publication Date: 09/02/2013


488 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Belknap Press


Legality is the most important contribution about the nature of law in recent years and a book that raises the bar for future work in jurisprudence. With admirable clarity, Shapiro argues that legal systems should not be understood simply in terms of rules, but instead as highly complex tools for creating and applying plans. His account offers an illuminating alternative to the literature and challenges much received wisdom.—Thom Brooks, Times Higher Education

It cannot be doubted that Shapiro’s book, which clarifies and advances analytical jurisprudence, is bound to be a classic text.—Ekow Yankah, Jotwell

[Legality] is a sympathetic, accessible, and highly readable exposition of the theories that have preceded it. It is now one of the best single-authored introductions to the subject. It is also a significant contribution. Moreover, it is an apologia for the subject itself, and for the method of conceptual analysis as a way of uncovering the nature and grounds of law… Both as a defense and example of analytic jurisprudence…this book is unrivalled.—William A. Edmundson, Jurisprudence

This book is…imaginative, incisive, fair to interlocutors, and written with elegance and wit… It is essential reading for philosophers of law.—Mark C. Murphy, Law and Philosophy

I feel confident that Legality is one of the very best books in general jurisprudence in many, many years… I suspect that Legality will become a standard work for students of law and philosophy… Everyone who engages in the academic study of law should read Legality—it is that important.—Lawrence B. Solum, Legal Theory blog

Rich and vibrant with jurisprudential ambition… There are lots of riches in Scott Shapiro’s book… I have not been able to convey how well this book is written or how much light the author is able to shed along the way on various issues in the philosophy of law… It shows that the idea of planning can indeed cast light on the problems of jurisprudence without necessarily blinding us to other analogies and other sources of insight.—Jeremy Waldron, Michigan Law Review

Scott Shapiro’s Legality is a rich and ambitious discussion of law’s fundamental nature. Almost every page is provocative, touching upon many of the most interesting, complicated and controversial areas within this area of inquiry.—Stefan Sciaraffa, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies

Legality makes a contribution to the field that no student of jurisprudence can ignore.—Judith Baer, Political Science Quarterly

Shapiro has produced a work of enduring significance.—Frederick Schauer, Yale Law Journal

Highly recommended.Choice

A strikingly original, highly accessible, and well-worked-out theory of the nature of law. Shapiro is on the positivist side, but a tremendous strength of the book is that it engages deeply and sympathetically with natural law and anti-positivist theorists. Everyone serious about the philosophy of law needs to read this book.—Mark Greenberg, University of California, Los Angeles

An outstanding contribution—almost certainly the most important book on its topic since Dworkin’s Law’s Empire. Legality develops a novel and forceful account of the nature of law, but the engagements with other prominent accounts are so resolutely fair and powerfully presented that, were I to suggest one book for someone wanting to understand contemporary debates in jurisprudence, this would be it.—Arthur Ripstein, University of Toronto

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