Philosophy of Law and Government - Joel Skousen

The J.D./Ph.D. in Philosophy degree candidates must complete 112 academic credits (76 credits of Law Center courses and 36 credits of Philosophy coursework). Nine credits of Philosophy coursework will count towards the J.D. degree requirements, and 9 credits of J.D. coursework will count towards the Ph.D. in Philosophy degree requirements. The program also requires J.D./Ph.D. students to: (1) successfully complete three comprehensive examinations in Philosophy; (2) successfully complete a dissertation; (3) successfully complete a Professional Responsibility course and the upperclass legal writing requirement at the Law Center; and (4) maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00/4.00 in the Philosophy program and the required minimum cumulative grade point average for the J.D. program (see the Juris Doctor Program chapter of ). Students matriculating at the Law Center in Fall 2016 or later must also complete 6 credits of experiential coursework at the Law Center.

"This is an excellent anthology in philosophy of law, comprehensive and balanced

The Department of Philosophy offers a wide range of courses to undergraduates interested in a major or minor in Philosophy or Philosophy/Law and Society.


General and introductory texts: History of Muslim Philosophy

Law and Philosophy | University of Chicago Law School

This chapter discusses the problems of the philosophy of law. It is more important to distinguish certain groups of questions as belonging to the philosophy of law. Three such groups of problems may be distinguished: problems of definition and analysis, problems of legal reasoning, and problems of the criticism of law. Objections to these are also considered. The theory of social contract focuses on two aspects of the obligation of obedience to law. It is also possible to detach from what is mythical or otherwise objectionable in contract theory certain considerations which show that the obligation to obey the law may be regarded as the obligation of fairness to others, which is independent of and may conflict with utility.


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The Stoics, who conceived of the universe as a single, organic substance, exercised a lasting influence on legal thought. Nature, which exhibits structure and order, and man both partake of intelligence, or reason ( ). An animal is directed by a primary impulse toward self-preservation that adapts it to its environment. In man, reason is the "engineer of impulse," and man's actions may be evaluated only within the framework of the whole of nature. The criterion of moral action is consistency with the all-determining law of nature ( ). This conception of a law of nature that is the ultimate standard of human laws and institutions was combined with Aristotelian and Christian notions to form the long-standing natural-law tradition of medieval legal philosophy. Another important Stoic contribution was the belief in the equality of all men in a universal commonwealth and a rejection of Aristotle's doctrine of slavery.

Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1963

The Philosophy major is designed to introduce students to the important issues and arguments surrounding such subjects as morality, knowledge, the nature of the mind and of the physical world, science, and language. The program provides a rigorous background in the history of Western philosophy, and studies contemporary approaches (both analytic and Continental) to philosophical issues. The B.A. degree in Philosophy prepares students for graduate study in philosophy, and is also excellent preparation for law school. For students interested in a double major, philosophy also serves as an excellent complement to psychology, mathematics, political science, and the natural sciences.

Thomistic Philosophy - the philosophyof Saint Thomas Aquinas

The locus classicus of Aristotle's discussion of justice is Book V of the . Generically, justice has to do with one's relations to others, and there is a sense of "justice" that refers to the complete moral virtue of the member of the community in such dealings. There is also a sense in which "justice" refers to a particular virtue involving the fair dealings of individuals in matters handled by private law. Two kinds of rights fall under this special virtue: rights in division (where each individual claims his fair share of goods, honors, and so on) and rights in redress (for wrongs done by one individual to another, such as failure to fulfill a contract).