Ethics and the Law

This course will examine the concept of law as a directive human enterprise from a historical and philosophical perspective, focusing on the American legal tradition. Natural Law and Legal Positivistic approaches to law will be discussed. Philosophical questions to be addressed may include views on the propriety and impropriety of judges interpreting laws in terms of social values, the intent of legislators, particular moral codes, and/or the intentions of Constitutional authors. This may also include discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of approaches such as strict constructionism, judicial activism, and intermediate approaches to law. Some analysis of historically significant U.S. Supreme Court cases on a variety of subjects is likely. SJE, PMI