Phil 311 – Philosophy of Law

'If a person falls in a department store and there's no one around to see it, do you still have a lawsuit?'

Reading Schedule

In what follows, MB refers to the textbook Philosophy of Law edited by May and Brown, all other documents can be accessed by following the hyperlink.
Day Date Topic Sub-Topic Reading 
Tuesday 23-Jan Introduction    
Thursday 25-Jan Analytic Jurisprudence Positivism: Command View Austin, "The Provence of Jurisprudence" (PDF)
Tuesday 30-Jan Analytic Jurisprudence Positivism: Primary & Secondary Rules Hart, The Concept of Law (MB 85-98)
Thursday 1-Feb Analytic Jurisprudence Positivism: Primary & Secondary Rules Hart, The Concept of Law (MB 85-98)
Tuesday 6-Feb Analytic Jurisprudence Natural Law: Classical Formulation Aquinas, Summa Theologica, "Questions 90 and 94"
Thursday 8-Feb Analytic Jurisprudence Natural Law: Rule of Law View Fulller, "Eight Ways to Fail to Make Law" (PDF)
Tuesday 13-Feb Analytic Jurisprudence Natural Law: Contemporary Formulations Murphy, "Natural Law Jurisprudence" (PDF)
Thursday 15-Feb Analytic Jurisprudence Natural Law: Contemporary Formulations Murphy, "Natural Law Jurisprudence" (PDF)
Tuesday 20-Feb Analytic Jurisprudence Economic View Posner, "The Economic Approach to Law" (MB 129-134)
Thursday 22-Feb Analytic Jurisprudence Integrity View Dworkin, "The Model of Rules I" (MB 99-107)
Tuesday 27-Feb Legal Reasoning Introduction to Analogical Reasoning Levi, "An Introduction to Legal Reasoning" (MB 11-22)
Thursday 1-Mar Legal Reasoning Formalism Schauer, "Formalism" (MB 32-42)
Tuesday 6-Mar EXAM REVIEW DAY    
Thursday 8-Mar FIRST EXAM FIRST EXAM FIRST EXAM
Tuesday 13-Mar SPRING BREAK    
Thursday 15-Mar SPRING BREAK    
Tuesday 20-Mar Critical Jurisprudence Legal Realism Holmes, "The Path of the Law"(esp. 457-468) (PDF); Frank, Law and the Modern Mind, Chapter 5 (PDF)
Thursday 22-Mar Critical Jurisprudence Critical Legal Studies Kennedy, "The Distinction Between Adjudication and Legislation" (MB 135-144)
Tuesday 27-Mar Critical Jurisprudence Critical Race Theory Crenshaw et al, "Critical Race Theory" (MB 145-151)
Thursday 29-Mar Critical Jurisprudence Critical Race Theory Bell, "Racial Realism" (PDF)
Tuesday 3-Apr Critical Jurisprudence The New Jim Crow Alexander, "The Color of Justice," The New Jim Crow, Chapter 3
Thursday 5-Apr Critical Jurisprudence Feminist Critics Smith, "Feminist Critics: The Reluctant Radicals" (MB 152-163)
Tuesday 10-Apr Obligation and the Law Is there a duty to obey the law?? Smith, "Is There a Prima Facie Obligation to Obey the Law?" (PDF)
Thursday 12-Apr Obligation and the Law Sure there is… Rawls, "Legal Obligation and the Duty of Fair Play" (PDF)
Tuesday 17-Apr Obligation and the Law But... Shelby, "Justice, Deviance, and the Dark Ghetto" (PDF)
Thursday 19-Apr Civil Disobedience   King, "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" (PDF); Rawls, "The Justification of Civil Disobedience" (PDF)
Tuesday 24-Apr Constitution Constitutional Cases Dworkin, "Constitutional Cases" (MB 523-534)
Thursday 26-Apr Constitution Originalism Scalia, "Common Law Courts in a Civil Law System" (PDF)
Tuesday 1-May Constitution And its Discontents Dworkin, "Comments on Scalia" (PDF); Scalia, "Response" (PDF, pp. 144-149)
Thursday 3-May Constitution Cont… Posner, "On Originalism and Pragmatism"
FINAL EXAM DATE 10-May FINAL EXAM 10:30am - 1:15pm