This seminar/course will consider some of the basic problems of jurisprudence, focusing particularly on theories of the rule of law and the concept of rights. In the consideration of the rule of law, representative topics will include theories of civil disobedience and problems of the retroactive application of the criminal law to atrocities committed by dictatorial regimes. In addition to important works of legal and political philosophy -- by authors such as Aquinas, Finnis, Locke, Austin, Kelsen and H.L.A. Hart -- we will read a number of the classics of ancient Greek literature that examine some of these problems. Possible readings include (in English) Plato, The Death of Socrates; Sophocles, Antigone; and Aeschylus, The Oresteia. The views of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and John Rawls on civil disobedience will also receive particular attention. This offering may be taken as a three credit seminar or as a two credit course, according to the choice of the student. (Except: Students who have taken Jurisprudence as a first-year elective may take this offering as a three-credit seminar only). Students who take the offering as a three-credit seminar may use their seminar papers to satisfy the Advanced Writing Certification Requirement.
In Prof. Gray’s section, the seminar will address some of the core issues in jurisprudence and philosophy of law. We will discuss problems relating to the nature of law, legal obligation, and the justification of legal sanction. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between law, morality, and social norms, whether international law is law, whether and in what circumstances one may be obliged to disobey the law, major utilitarian and consequentialist approaches to punishment, the nature and role of scienter, and issues of collective responsibility. We will read and draw on a range of sources ranging from Sophocles to Sarbanes-Oxley.
This is a three-credit seminar. Course requirements include brief weekly response papers, class participation, an in-class presentation, and a term paper. Students who plan to use this course to fulfill their writing requirement must declare their intention with enough advanced notice to fulfill the meet-and-confer and draft-revision requirements.
|This course is not currently scheduled.|