Great Traditions in Jurisprudence

SLN #: 13661
Course Prefix: LAW-691
Course Section: 013
Credit Hours: 3
Instructor(s): White

Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to consider the ‘great traditions’ of jurisprudence. For the purposes of this course, what this phrase connotes is investigation of the history and conceptual ramifications of what is now often taken to be the most fundamental antithesis in the conception of law and legal systems: Must law necessarily be understood in terms of the attempt to embody and further some conception of morality or of human welfare? Or is law simply a certain sort of human social convention, which finds in expression in temporally and culturally diverse forms and which stands in no necessary relation to any concepts of morality or of human welfare? The former kind of view, of which there are many variations, is the natural law tradition of jurisprudence; the latter, of which there are equally numerous variations, is the legal positivism tradition of jurisprudence. Beginning with Greek and Roman antiquity, we shall examine the historical roots of this question and the historical background of contemporary jurisprudential doctrine. The course will consider relevant historical material up to and including the jurisprudence of William Blackstone and John Austin in the late-18th and early -19th centuries. Figures that may be considered, in addition to Blackstone and Austin, include Plato, Aristotle, Cicero (and the Stoic tradition), Justinian (and the tradition of Roman law), Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Marsilius of Padua, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Pufendorf, and Grotius

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 3
Grading Option: Numeric Grade and ONE-Time Pass Option is Available, or Letter Grade Only
Graduation Writing Requirement: No
Flexible Writing Requirement: Yes
Skills Requirement: No
Experiential Learning: No
Final Exam Given: Yes
Final Exam Type: Take-Home
Mid Term or Other Exam: Yes; probably a take-home midterm examination.
Attendance Policy: Per Statement of Student Policies

* The law school has a policy that is used to calculate credit hours. Please see the Statement of Student Policies.