LAW 217

Legal Philosophy

Law & Philosophy

This course is an introduction to the philosophy of law. We will begin by investigating questions in general jurisprudence, such as: what distinguishes law from other forms of social control? What, if anything, is the nature of law? What connections obtain between law and morality? We will explore these questions by examining some major theoretical perspectives in the philosophy of law, such as legal positivism and natural law theory. We will ask how, if at all, the answers to these questions bear on concrete legal or political problems. We will finish by considering some issues in normative jurisprudence, such as whether we have a duty to obey the law and what justifications exist for regulating behavior through law.

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