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Fall 2022 Course

Theories About Law

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

There will be two short papers in lieu of an examination. One will be assigned midway through the course and the other at the end.

This course begins with a survey of positions in American legal thought, from the time of the Legal Realists to the contemporary period. Then the course looks at law from the standpoint of a number of larger theories, considering law in relation to social theory, literary understanding, moral psychology, and the critique of liberalism. The last two sessions ask how law might go forward on premises of critical jurisprudence.

Readings are selected as exemplary texts, displaying core theoretical positions. After the initial survey, each session restricts its focus to a close look at basic ideas of one or two major theorists.