This is a course in the philosophy of law that approaches its subject matter through the lens of political philosophy. It will involve critical discussion of core issues and classical texts from the 17th century to the present. The organizing topics are: legitimacy, justice, and the nature and moral significance of law. Special emphasis will be placed on the ways in which various philosophical conceptualizations of the human person intersect with justifications for political and legal arrangements, including distributions of rights, goods, and powers. Students will develop competence and facility over several historically influential texts in legal philosophy (from Hobbes and Locke to Rawls, Williams, Waldron and Dworkin). Students will sharpen their legal reasoning, analytical and critical reading skills. Students will fine-tune their abilities to break down legal arguments, and examine their foundations. No prior philosophical training is required.
Professor E. Kidd White
3 credit(s) 3 hour(s);
Upper Year Research & Writing Requirement