Law & Philosophy Program


Who We Are – Law and Philosophy Program

Faculty Director

Core Faculty

Affiliated Faculty (Law)

Affiliated Faculty (Philosophy)

Current Postdocs

Moran Yahav is a JSD candidate at New York University School of Law. Moran works mainly in legal and political philosophy and ethics, but her research and teaching interests also include theories of regulation, governance studies, history and theory of public international law and international humanitarian law. 

Moran’s dissertation explores what considerations a government ought to take into account in choosing between the different governance means that may be available for the achievement of a particular end. Moran seeks to provide standards by which processes of social regulation can be assessed and to critically examine the relationship between this question and related important political questions such as the ends of governments and the legitimacy of governments.

Moran received her LLB from Tel Aviv University, Israel (2007), is a member of the Israeli bar, and earned her LLM at New York University School of Law as a Hans Kelsen Scholar (2010), with a thesis in legal philosophy. Before commencing her JSD, Moran served as legal advisor to the Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of May 31, 2010, chaired by Justice (ret.) Jacub Turkel of the Supreme Court of Israel; clerked for the Honorable Justice Esther Hayut of the Supreme Court of Israel; and interned with the commercial litigation group of S. Horowitz & Co.

Winter Quarter 2017 Course:

Philosophy 166. Philosophy of Law, taught by Moran Yahav

David Beglin has just completed his graduate work at the University of California, Riverside, where he received his PhD in philosophy. Before pursuing his PhD, David worked at a high school in Boston, a position he took up after receiving his B.A. in philosophy and in history from the University of Rhode Island in 2010.

David's current research project concerns the moral psychology and ethics of responsibility. In particular, he is developing a theory of responsible agency, the kind of agency we ascribe to someone when we hold that person to account for their actions and attitudes. This theory begins with an account of the moral psychological stance from which we hold people responsible. In addition to this project on responsibility, David has also published on philosophical issues concerning death. His work has appeared in academic journals such as Philosophical Studies and Ethics.

Winter Quarter 2018 Course:

Philosophy 166. Philosophy of Law, taught by David Beglin

Erik Encarnacion is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Law and Philosophy at UCLA School of Law for 2018-2020. Before joining UCLA, he was a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School and  an attorney at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York.

Encarnacion earned his A.B. in philosophy from Princeton University, his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, and his Ph.D. in philosophy from University of Southern California. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Ronald Lee Gilman for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Memphis, Tennessee. Encarnacion’s teaching and research interests focus primarily on contract law and related areas.

Fall 2018 Course:

Law 217. Legal Philosophy, taught by Erik Encarnacion

This course will provide an introduction to some of the central issues in the philosophy of law. We will specifically consider questions in analytical jurisprudence (the study of the nature of law) but will also discuss issues in normative jurisprudence (that is, how ought legal institutions be designed and what are the justifications for regulating behavior through law). For example, we will ask what distinguishes law from other governance techniques? What connection, if any, there is or ought to be between law and morality? What type of authority, if any, is essential to the law? Do citizens have a duty to obey the law, and if so, under what circumstances? When, if ever, is paternalistic interference by the state into the lives of its citizens justified? How can rules give us reasons? What, if anything, justifies punishment by the state? We will explore all these questions by critically examining some of the main historically influential schools of thought, including legal positivism, natural law theory, and critical theories of law.

Past Postdocs

Ariel Zylberman - Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University at Albany (SUNY)

Robert Hughes – Assistant Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Lecturer, UCLA Department of Philosophy 2014-2015); National Institutes of Health, Department of Bioethics, Fellow (2010-2012)

Matt King – Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Arudra Burra – Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

David Plunkett – Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Dartmouth

Louis-Philippe Hodgson – Associate Professor, Glendon College

Sari Kisilevsky – Visiting Assistant Professor, Princeton University; Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Queens College CUNY

Daniela Dover - Assistant Professor of Philosophy, UCLA

Stephen Nayak-Young - Visiting Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University

Predoctoral Fellows

Jordan Wallace-Wolf
B.A. Yale University, 2008
M.A. Tufts University, 2011
J.D. UCLA Law School, 2017
Ph.D. Candidate UCLA, 2020

Jordan Wallace-Wolf is a PhD candidate in the philosophy department. His current focus is on privacy, with his dissertation research being on the privacy interest that persons have in their thoughts, including their interest in reading, writing, and conversing without being observed by others. His legal interests include tort law generally, privacy torts specifically, and digital privacy regulation.

JD / PhD

Brian Hutler
B.A. New York University, 2006
J.D. UCLA School of Law, 2014
Ph.D. UCLA Department of Philosophy, 2018

Brian Hutler is a graduate of the Joint-Degree Program in Law and Philosophy offered by the UCLA School of Law and Department of Philosophy. Brian's dissertation, titled "Compromise, Religious Freedom, and the Liberal State," argues for a compromise-based conception of religious freedom in the context of liberal political philosophy. Brian is currently teaching in the Philosophy Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Website:

Sabine Tsuruda
B.A. Stanford University, 2006
M.A. Stanford University, 2007
J.D. UCLA School of Law, 2016
Ph.D. UCLA Department of Philosophy, 2018

Sabine Tsuruda is an Assistant Professor at Queen's University Faculty of Law. She graduated from the Joint J.D./Ph.D. Program in Law and Philosophy at UCLA, where she studied as a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellow and served as a Senior Editor of the UCLA Law Review. Her dissertation, "Moral Agency and the Workplace," examines understudied aspects of the relationship between work, law, and moral agency through a series of case studies about managerial control, migrant work, unpaid work, and religious workplaces. Her current research examines employee speech rights and the political morality of workplace hierarchy.