Philosophy of Law (PHIL352)
Mondays · 5:30pm–8:15pm · LA5–246
[This course satisfies multiple GE categories: Upper-division C, Upper-division D, WI Capstone F]
This course will introduce students to the study of philosophical topics related to law and its adjudication. Some of the questions we will address include: What is law? Why, when, and how are we constrained by the law? Is there an essential relationship between law and morality? Can there be a ‘right answer’ in legal disputes? And what does it mean to have ‘liberty’? Toward this end, we will analyze the theoretical debates between legal positivism and natural law, as well as engage in a discussion of more specific legal and normative topics such as free speech rights, privacy rights, paternalism, and the constitutional commitments to due process and equal protection. Our readings will include works by such philosophers and legal scholars as Thomas Aquinas, John Austin, Ronald Dworkin, Lon Fuller, Jean Hampton, Angela Harris, H.L.A. Hart, John Stuart Mill, Margaret Radin, John Rawls, and Judith Thomson.