Philosophy of Law (PHIL 480)

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Instructor: Michael Corrado. This seminar meets on Wednesdays from 3:10 – 5:10 in Greenlaw 302.

We will read the writings of legal theorists and philosophers on the questions of responsibility, freedom, and punishment. The question for discussion will be whether the existing line between punishment of those offenders who are responsible for their behavior, on one hand, and therapy and indefinite detention for those who are not responsible, on the other, can be maintained. Topics will include the mentally ill offender; the sexual predator; the addict, including the pregnant addict; and the juvenile offender. Students will be expected to write two short papers and one longer paper, all on the same general issue. Students will also be expected to bring, to each seminar meeting, two or three questions about the readings assigned for that meeting. Readings will be available online or in the library. They will include work by Enrico Ferri, Barbara Wootton, Herbert Hart, Alf Ross, Roderick Chisholm, Daniel Dennett, John Martin Fischer, Galen Strawson, Michael Moore, Derk Pereboom, Joshua Greene and Jonathan Cohen and others, and will include as well a number of relevant court cases.

Michael Corrado’s webpage