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.

Undergraduate Catalog

SUNY Oneonta

Correspondence Directory

The College Calendar

The College and the Community

Admission to the College

Undergraduate Expenses

Financial Aid

Student Life

Academic Programs and Degrees

Academic Policies and Standards

Academic Advisement Center

Continuing Academic Planning

Declaration of Curriculum Majors

Curriculum Minors

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

General Education 3

General College Degree Requirements Chart

Degree Credit

Grading System

Grade Change Policy

Interim Progress Reports

Academic Progress

Superior Performance



Schedule Changes

Grade Reports

Applying for a Degree

Leave of Absence

Withdrawal from the College


Course Auditing

Seniors Taking Graduate Level Courses for Graduate Credit

Student Records

Special Academic Programs

Academic Departments, Programs, and Courses

Key to Course Descriptions

Course Numbering System

Courses Not Regularly Offered

Course Index

Africana and Latino Studies




Center for Academic Development and Enrichment Program

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Communication Arts

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

School of Economics and Business


Secondary Education and Educational Technology

Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education


Environmental Sciences

Foreign Languages & Literatures


Health and Fitness


Human Ecology

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

International Studies

Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics



Physics and Astronomy

Political Science

Professional Studies Program


Religious Studies Program



Women’s and Gender Studies

Chancellor's Awards and Board Members

State University of New York

General Statement – State University of New York

Mission and Vision

Education Law

Policy on Student Records

Directory of Faculty and Professional Staff

Emeriti Faculty/Professional Staff

College at Oneonta Campus Map