This seminar is open to students who have a genuine interest in and - most importantly - some prior knowledge of modern analytical legal and political philosophy. It is not an introductory course.
This seminar is a speaker’s seminar. We will explore and discuss new, mostly not yet published, work in legal and political philosophy by leading philosophers. Listed in the order of their visits, the visitors will be Japa Pallikkathayil (Pittsburgh), Tim Scanlon (Harvard), Gideon Yaffe (Yale), Gideon Rosen (Princeton), Ulrike Heuer (Leeds, UK), and Sarah Paul (Madison, Wisconsin). The topics are chosen by the visitors, and as a result the seminar has no overall theme. I anticipate that some of the topics will concern responsibility; intentions, and their role in responsibility, and perhaps one on equality (these are guesses based on the research interests of the visitors).
The term will divide into a sequence of blocks, two weeks each, each one dedicated to current work by one of the visitors. In the first session of each block we will discuss in class a draft submitted by the author. On the basis of the discussion, I will write to the author to indicate which aspects of his/her paper we found most challenging, or most requiring clarification. The author will be with us in the second week of the block, opening the session by responding to the letter, after which there will be a general discussion.
Sessions without visitors will be 2 hours long. Sessions in which we meet with one of our visitors will continue with refreshments for an additional 80 minutes or so. This second part of the session will continue the discussion and is an integral and compulsory part of the seminar.
Assessment will be on the basis of three short papers (5-6 pages) by each student as well as on the basis of participation in class discussion. The first paper will have to be submitted within the first 4-5 weeks of the term. Major writing credit will be available. However, any student desiring to qualify for major writing credit should consult me very early in the term, well before the deadline for the submission of the first essay.
This seminar is supported by the generous gift of The John Dewey Lectureship Fund in the School of Law.