Catalog 2021-2022

PHL 311 Philosophy of Law

This course will introduce students to the academic field of the philosophy of law. Students will be exposed to, and develop their capacity to think critically about, historically influential philosophical answers to the following questions: “What is the nature of the law, and what makes something a valid or legitimate law? Should the law reflect morality, or does it somehow constitute or create morality?” This course will also examine the philosophy of constitutional law, contract law, criminal law, rights to property, free speech, free practice of religion, privacy, pornography, abortion, gay marriage, affirmative action and punishment. It is recommended that students have had at least one course in philosophy, criminology or government and world affairs, but this course may be taken as a first course in philosophy by ambitious students who are interested in the subject matter.