The purpose of legal philosophy is frequently defined as the discovery or exploration of the nature of law. The nature of law is usually understood as a set of necessary properties of law. Such an identification of the purpose of legal philosophy raises some doubts. Irrespective of those doubts, I claim that that focusing exclusively on the nature of law may be detrimental to legal philosophy as a whole, as it may be an obstacle to the investigation of certain issues that seem important. Or, at least, not all fundamental problems of legal philosophy may be perceived as pertaining to the nature of the law. Two such problems are briefly discussed: (i) legal pluralism and (ii) certain new categories of non-human legal subjects, such as autonomous machines, environmental legal persons and animals. I argue that focusing on the nature of law does not help the exploration of those important topics.
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