Area of Study & Practice
- Interdisciplinary Studies
- Legal Theory
This course is an historical examination of the development of legal philosophy from ancient times to the contemporary period. It begins with a detailed examination of Aristotle's work on justice and his concept of how political life should be organized in the ideal state. It then turns to an examination of the various schools of natural law and of the areas in which natural law philosophy enters into contemporary legal thought. The course devotes substantial time to the development of modern legal positivism, as reflected in the work of John Austin, and to the various types of legal philosophy that have been derived from the legal positivism, such as legal realism and contemporary work exploring the basic analytical structure of the legal system. The purpose of the course is to give the student the historical and philosophical background to engage in discussions of contemporary jurisprudential issues. It is normally taken by second- and third-year law students.
** Take home exam; due date last day of exams or any other date determined by consensus of class.
Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.