PHIL 280.001 – Morality and Law
Instructor: Molly Gardner. This course meets MWF 2:00 – 2:50 p.m. in CW 105.
In this course we will explore a number of issues at the intersection of law and morality. We will begin by considering foundational questions about the nature of law and the nature of morality: Is the concept of law an essentially a moral concept or an entirely social concept? Is morality, itself, grounded in social facts, objective facts, non-natural facts, or something else? We will then consider some questions at the normative level: Are there any fundamental principles of morality, and if so, what are they? What principles determine whether a law or a system of laws is just? Finally, we will consider some applied questions about particular laws and justifications for laws. We will consider whether we have too much criminal law, how punishment might be justified, whether some laws are objectionably paternalistic, and whether various instances of government surveillance violate moral or legal privacy rights.