Jurisprudence



SLN #: 26435
Course Prefix: LAW-616
Course Section: 001
Credit Hours: 3
Instructor(s): White

Course Description:

"Law, says the judge, as he looks down his nose,
Speaking clearly, and most severely,
Law is, as I’ve told you before,
Law is, as you know I suppose,
Law is, but let me explain it once more,
Law is The Law."
W. H. Auden

This course in contemporary analytic jurisprudence (or philosophy of law) explores the puzzlement of Mr. Auden’s judge, beginning with three ‘commonplaces’ about law: law is a matter of social fact, law possesses some sort of authority, and law is (supposed to be) for the common good. We shall see in what way (and how successfully) various jurisprudential doctrines (e.g., legal positivism, natural-law theory, legal realism) come to terms with these commonplaces.

Our main (but not necessarily exclusive) text will be Mark C. Murphy, Philosophy of Law: The Fundamentals (Blackwell Publishing, 2007).

Course grade will be primarily determined by two examinations: There will be a mid-term examination that will be either in-class or take-home. And there will be a take-home final examination that will be, in effect, a ‘directed paper’, with a considerable variety of choice given with respect to topic.

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 3
Grading Option: Letter Grade Only
Written Assignment: The take-home final will, in effect, approximate a 'directed paper'. With instructor's approval, an actual term paper may be substituted for it.
Graduation Writing Requirement: Yes, With Instructor's Approval
Flexible Writing Requirement: No
Skills Requirement: No
Final Exam Given: Yes
Final Exam Type: Take-Home
Mid Term or Other Exam: Yes: Either in-class or take-home--to be determined.
Attendance Policy: Per Statement of Student Policies
Online Course Site: None