Law and Philosophy

This seminar will concentrate on three broad sets of questions. The first set concerns the fundamental issue: what does the moral rightness or wrongness of a putative law have to do whether it is really the law? We will focus on the most prominent version of this debate in Anglo-American Legal Philosophy in the past several decades: the debate between H.L.A. Hart and Ronald Dworkin, reading their most important jurisprudential works carefully, and paying close attention to the secondary literature that has grown out of these works. The second set of questions pertains to the relation between different forms of justice, particularly in the private law: how does distributive justice, and a liberal emphasis on rights and liberty, relate to corrective justice, and the idea of restoring to each what was his or her own? Rawls' Theory of Justice, Nozick's Anarchy, State and Utopia, and Weinrib's The Idea of Private Law will be the primary emphasis in this part. The third and final part of the course will examine the relation among justice, mercy, and forgiveness, particularly within the criminal law. Hampton and Murphy's book, Forgiveness and Mercy will be the primary text.
Credits: 2

Type: SEM