Course Plan And Assignment Schedule

PHL 220: Philosophy of Law

Course Organization

The following list of topics is chronological in order and gives the general themes into which our assignments will fall over the course of the term.

Course Introduction

  • Week 1: Course Syllabus, Basic Orientation to Philosophy of Law

Basic Philosophical Skills: Review

  • Weeks 2-3: Basic Philosophical Methods, Argumentation, Best Practices for Critical Discussion

Analytic Jurisprudence

  • Weeks 3-5: Brand, Chapters 1-2

Normative Jurisprudence

  • Weeks 6-7: Brand, Chapters 3-4

Special Topics

  • Weeks 8-9: Criminal law and Punishment: Brand, Chapters 6-7
  • Weeks 10-11: Legal Interpretation and Constitution: Brand, Chapters 8-9 (selections)
  • Weeks 11-12: International Law and Human Rights, Brand, Chapter 10
  • Weeks 13-15: Law and Disagreement, Waldron (selections)

Specific dates and assignment details are given below in the Course Calendar. Remember to use the "Agenda" view and click on "more details" to get full text and active links.

Note: This course plan is subject to change at the instructor's discretion. Students are expected to check this page frequently to remain abreast of any updates.

The whole term is planned out on this calendar. Click on the entry for any day to see what readings and work are assigned for that day. If you have a gmail account you can incorporate the events on this calendar into your own rather easily so that you may access them from your own computer or smartphone.


  1. In some cases the schedule must be viewed by clicking on "Agenda" at the top right box in order for all the text put down for a given day to be visible.
  2. Clicking on "more detail" at the bottom of an entry will display clickable links to readings, etc..

List of Readings and Other Media

We have no textbook in this class. Instead we will use electronically accessible journal articles and other media. Below is a listing of these items. Consult the detailed course plan for specific readings and assignments. Note that access to the journal articles comes via our library. Thus, if you have trouble accessing the articles the first place you should go for help is the reference desk at the library. Please be aware that computer problems of any kind will not excuse anyone from the responsibility to do the work of the class. Please plan ahead.

Notes for Reading Philosophy

The Philosophical Toolbox

The Basics of Philosophical Argumentation

Debate Team Assignments and Propositions

Debate team assignments, propositions to be debated, and other details are posted here.

Information will be updated as new propositions are announced.

You can review the format and individual requirements for the debates by going to the Debate Page.

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