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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Language and Communications Studies Department
Course Prefix and Number: PHIL 430
Course Title: *Philosophy of Law
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Philosophical investigation into the concept of judisprudence. The course covers both analytic jurisprudence, i.e., what law is and how it is distinguished from other normative systems like ethics, and normative jurisprudence, i.e., restrictions on liberty, duties to obey the law, and the role of punishment. Cross-listed as POSC 430. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

Junior standing

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Occasional offering

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Classic Readings and Cases in the Philosophy of Law
By Dimock, Susan (Pearson/Longman)
Course Objectives
  • To understand the philosophical issues and problems in philosophy of law.
  • To be familiar with various attempts to deal with philosophical issues concerning law.
Measurable Learning
  • Read contemporary philosophical prose for critical understanding.
  • Describe and explain the issues and basic approaches to philosophy of law.
  • Formalize sophisticated philosophical arguments.
  • Identify problems and weaknesses in the basic approaches to philosophy of law.
  • Analyze and provide criticisms of sophisticated philosophical arguments found in philosophy of law.
Topical Outline:
  • Analytic jurisprudence
  • Natural law
  • Positivism
  • Normative jurisprudence
  • Liberty
  • Civil disobedience
  • Punishment

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Mark Price Date: October 29, 2009
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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