May 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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HUM 3220 - Philosophy of Law

Prerequisite(s): HUM 2730 .
This course introduces students to the two traditions concerning the justification for laws. First, legal positivism, which assumes no intrinsic connection between law and morality. Second, natural law theory, which insists upon such an intrinsic connection.  After students have become familiar with these traditions and their major exponents, we will examine three reasons laws are enacted: the harm principle, the offense principle, and the parental principle.  Credit(s): 3 (3 plus 0)

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Construct a sustained explanation concerning the meaning of law.
  2. Distinguish between civil laws and moral codes.
  3. Define and distinguish the two major justifications for law: natural law and Positive Law (Legal Positivism).
  4. Recognize the purposes for enacting laws: to prevent harm of others; legislative bodies acting in parental locus; to prevent groups or sub-groups from experiencing offense; to levy taxes and fines.
  5. Evaluate the differences between legal argumentation and argumentation in other disciplines, such as philosophy.
  6. Evaluate what satisfies as acceptable criteria for evidence in jurisprudence.

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