01:30 PM to 02:45 PM TR
Planetary Hall 126
Section Information for Spring 2022
Law structures our lives and the world we inhabit in myriad ways. It regulates how we interact with others; where we can live, go to school, or go to work; what kinds of things we can own and sell; and how we can be sanctioned if we act outside the law. In this course, we will consider a variety of philosophical questions raised by life within the American legal system. The course will first briefly cover classic conceptual questions about the nature of law generally and its relation to morality, and then turn its focus to more contemporary philosophical concerns in specific areas of America law including public law (constitutional law and criminal law), private law (property law, tort law, and contract law), and the professional ethics of lawyers. Students will be challenged to charitably read and explain a variety of philosophical theories, concepts, and arguments as well as develop and defend their own positions. Dialogue and writing will be the primary modes of learning and evaluation. This course does not include lectures. Instead, students will be expected to develop understanding of readings in dialogue during class meetings and one-on-on conversations with their peers outside of class. They will be challenged to understand and engage empathetically with positions they deeply disagree with. They will have the chance to hone their ability to write engagingly for a broad public audience with a series of targeted writing exercises, multiple paper drafts, and regular opportunities for instructor and peer feedback.