Philosophy of Law Philosophy 34, Spring 2007

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Class notes

What Is Law?

  1. Handout: Natural law
  2. Exercises: necessary and sufficient conditions
  3. Austin on command and obligation
  4. Austin on sovereignty
  5. Hart’s positivism
  6. Legal Realism updated 4 Feb.
  7. Hart on legal realism


  1. The separation of law and morality
  2. Handout: Helots
  3. Fuller on the morality of law
  4. The Speluncean Explorers
    1. Handout: obligation and self defense
    2. Truepenny, Foster, and Tatting
    3. Keen and Handy
  5. Justice Scalia’s originalism
  6. Handout: Scalia’s originalism
  7. Dworkin vs. Scalia updated 28 Feb.
  8. Handout: the Constitution
  9. Socrates on obeying the law
  10. Handout: Consent and Legal Obligation
  11. King on civil disobedience updated 9 Mar.
  12. Handout: Shadrach and friends


  1. Dworkin outline
  2. Dworkin on rights
  3. Handout: rights
  4. Hart’s choice theory of rights updated 21 Mar.
  5. Natural rights
  6. Feinberg on rights


  1. Regolating offensive behavior
  2. Paternalism


  1. Punishment
  2. The right to punishment
  3. Vengeance
  4. Handout: vengeance
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Philosophy of Law