SUNY Oneonta

PHIL 232 Philosophy of Law

3 s.h.

Legally interested students are introduced to an overview of the theoretical questions involved in the study of the philosophy of law. Legal and philosophical thought are intertwined, yet the rules for responsible application of the law remain disputable. Questions of foundation in the Western tradition range from Thomas Aquinas’ development of a Just War theory until H.L.A. Hart’s distinction between moral and legal standards, and question of Globalization, Social Justice and Interpretation. Students will develop independent reasoning skills and understand the foundations of current legal debates. The course will explore different legal schools of thought from Plato until the present, and compare with non-Western legal traditions (tribal/Islamic). In doing so, it lays the foundation for those students of the liberal arts who wish to pursue a further career in legal (or copy- right related), political, sociological, philosophical studies or criminal justice. Especially interesting for, but not limited to, students already involved in pre-law studies. The course is reading, speech and writing intensive. Offered irregularly. (LA, BC3)

Prerequisites: PHIL 103 or PHIL 234, SoS.

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