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796.20 - Law, History and Philosophy Seminar
Professor: Howard P. Fink
Semester: 2009 Autumn
Second Writing Requirement? Yes
Professional Responsibility? No
This seminar is an attempt to familiarize themselves with the intellectual movements and philosophies which have affected the growth of what we consider to be American political philosophy and American ideals. What philosophers and writings shaped those who created the American Revolution? What events, debates and judicial decisions brought on the American Civil War? What forces shaped the New Deal? What shaped the rise of the modern industrial state and the Viet Nam War? What about reactions to liberal economic and political philosophy today? What role does law play in literature and how does literary criticism apply to legal analysis? We begin with consideration of our heritage from the Greeks and the Romans. We consider the Bible, the American civil religion, law and literature, critical movements such as feminism, the civil rights movement, and critical race theory; we consider schools of jurisprudence such as natural law, legal positivism, legal realism, and sociological jurisprudence and critical legal studies. Each student leads a part of a class on his or her topic and prepares a paper within the broad confines of that topic. Iconoclastic thinking welcome.
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