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At the broadest level, questions of law are known in academic vernacular as questions of jurisprudence. Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists (including legal philosophers and social theorists of law), hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions. Modern jurisprudence began in the 18th century and was focused on the first principles of the natural law, civil law, and the law of nations.
General jurisprudence can be broken into categories both by the type of question scholars seek to answer and by the theories of jurisprudence, or schools of thought, regarding how those questions are best answered. Contemporary philosophy of law, which deals with general jurisprudence, addresses problems in two rough groups:
1.) Problems internal to law and legal systems as such.
2.) Problems of law as a particular social institution as it relates to the larger political and social situation in which it exists.