Philosophy, Law and the Family

A New Introduction to the Philosophy of Law

  • Laurence D. Houlgate

Part of the AMINTAPHIL: The Philosophical Foundations of Law and Justice book series (AMIN, volume 7)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Laurence D. Houlgate
    Pages 1-9
  3. Law, Morals and the Constitution

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Laurence D. Houlgate
      Pages 13-34
    3. Laurence D. Houlgate
      Pages 35-57
    4. Laurence D. Houlgate
      Pages 59-87
  4. State Intervention in the Family

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 89-89
    2. Laurence D. Houlgate
      Pages 91-114
    3. Laurence D. Houlgate
      Pages 115-126
    4. Laurence D. Houlgate
      Pages 127-141
    5. Laurence D. Houlgate
      Pages 143-168
  5. Marriage, Children and the State

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 169-169
    2. Laurence D. Houlgate
      Pages 171-201
    3. Laurence D. Houlgate
      Pages 203-225
  6. Contract and Property Disputes Arising from Alternative Birth Methods

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 227-227
    2. Laurence D. Houlgate
      Pages 229-248
    3. Laurence D. Houlgate
      Pages 249-266
  7. Alternative Approaches to the Philosophy of Law

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 267-267
    2. Laurence D. Houlgate
      Pages 269-283

About this book


This textbook uses cases in family law to illustrate both traditional philosophical problems in the law as well as problems that are unique to family law. In the beginning chapters family law cases are employed to introduce the reader to philosophical debates about the relationship between law and morals, about how one ought to interpret the U.S. Constitution and its amendments, about the conditions under which individual liberty is justifiably limited by law, about the justification of punishment, and about the justification of remedies and standards of care in determining negligence in tort cases. Later chapters are devoted to contemporary issues unique to family law, including justifiable limits of access to marriage, alternatives to marriage, the rights of children, child custody disputes involving surrogate births, quasi-property disputes involving custody of frozen embryos, and the justifiable limits of the right not to procreate. The book reflects current movements, contemporary debates, and recent research on the philosophical problems in family law.


Introduction to Legal Philosophy Jurisprudence versus Philosophy of Law Natural Law Theory Family Law Rape and Forced Marriage John Austin H.L.A. Hart Legal Positivism Ronald Dworkin Lon Fuller Concept of “Person” in the U.S. Constitution Harm to Mother and Child Selling Babies and Renting Bodies Forced Procreation Thomas Hobbes Herbert Spencer John Locke and J.S. Mill Rights of Children Custodial Status of Children Marital Benefits and Burdens

Authors and affiliations

  • Laurence D. Houlgate
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis ObispoUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-51120-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-51121-4
  • Series Print ISSN 1873-877X
  • Series Online ISSN 2351-9851
  • Buy this book on publisher's site