Calendar

SES # TOPICS KEY DATES
1 Introduction  
I: What is Law?
2–3 What is the difference between laws and commands?  
4 How do we determine the content of laws? Do laws have moral content?  
5–6 How should judges interpret the law?  
II: The Obligation to Obey the Law
7–8 Is there an obligation to obey the law? Skepticism about political obligation… Short paper #1 due
9–10 Optimism about political obligation… Paper #1 revision due
11 Should we sometimes disobey the law?  
III: Responsibility and Punishment
12 When exactly does an act cause harm?  
13 Where does the burden of proof lie? Short paper #2 due
14 What counts as evidence of guilt / liability?  
15–16 Is it appropriate to punish acts that “successfully” cause harm (e.g., murder, vehicular manslaughter) more severely than similar acts which, merely as a matter of good luck, do not? Paper #2 revision due
17–18 What, if anything, justifies punishment of offenders by the state?  
IV: Harm, Liberties, and the Law
19–20 When is the state justified in interfering in the lives of its citizens? Short paper #3 due
21–22 What are the justifications for and limits of freedom of speech?  
23 Can we harm people by bringing them into existence, and should we be liable for that harm?  
V: Legal Ethics
24–26 What special ethical problems do lawyers face?

Screening of the motion picture “ Reversal of Fortune”.

Final paper due

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment_turned_in Written Assignments with Examples