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3L studies with renowned philosopher through Oxford Semester Program

January 24, 2017 | Students

Taking private classes with one of the world’s most renowned philosophers is something many students can only dream of. For 3L Aryeh Younger that dream became reality when he spent the spring semester studying in Oxford, England at St. Anne’s College, one of the 40 colleges that make up the prestigious University of Oxford, as part of The Ohio State Moritz College of Law’s Oxford Study Abroad Semester Program.

“I think it was a transformative experience for me. I had previously studied for a year at a Jewish seminary in Israel under the direction of Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein. That experience was very informative in my early intellectual development, but it wasn’t really until I got to study with Professor Peter Hacker where I was able to refine the approach I brought to different philosophical problems. That’s something I’m going to carry with me the rest of my life,” Younger said of his experience.

Students enrolled in the 15-week program take four courses – Comparative Constitutional Law, The History of the Common Law, EU Economic Law, and a supervised research tutorial in which they write a lengthy paper on a comparative or international law topic of their own choosing under the guidance of an expert on that topic at the university.

A large draw for Younger to not only enroll in the program, but to choose Ohio State for law school as well, centered around this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study under Hacker, an emeritus research fellow at the University of Oxford, whose expertise lies in the Wittgensteinian philosophical method, which looks to use language as it is given to resolve different philosophical problems. As such, he chose to focus his research paper on the different philosophical traditions underlying freedom of speech in the U.S. and the UK.

“Since I’m interested in the field, I had been in touch with Professor Hacker before and I realized the program gave me the opportunity to continue my legal education while simultaneously studying under him. Wittgenstein surveys the very foundations of our conceptual landscape. He begins one of his important later works with the simple question, what is the meaning of a word? This was the greatest intellectual experience of my life,” he said.

Younger added that what he enjoyed about the semester program overall was the immersive nature of it. “Another reason why I chose the semester program over the summer program was the fact that it’s more immersive. I really got to get a sense of what it’s like to be a student at the University of Oxford, surrounded by other students during the year,” he said.

For those considering the program, Younger said it was a great way to further his studies both in the field of law and in other areas of academic interest as well.

“The program is probably best suited for individuals who have a very specific idea of what they’re interested in concerning the law, or if they have interests that expand beyond the immediate practice of law,” he explained.

As someone who has a background in writing and journalism, and who has served as a leader in his religious community, Younger said he felt a law degree coupled with this philosophical educational opportunity, would serve his interests well in continuing to pursue those areas in a more advanced way.

Outside of the class room, Younger is a contributor to major news publications around the country, which allows him to explore timely topics in the fields of politics, foreign policy, philosophy, and law. After graduation, Younger said he hopes to enter the private sector, while still continuing to promote the philosophical methodology of Wittgenstein.