PHILOSOPHY OF LAW
cod. 00385

Academic year 2023/24
4° year of course - First semester
Professor
- Maria ZANICHELLI
Academic discipline
Filosofia del diritto (IUS/20)
Field
Filosofico-giuridico
Type of training activity
Basic
36 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in ITALIAN

Learning objectives

Law is more than a mere problem solving technique: it poses very philosophical questions, concerning its foundations and aims, its role in the society, its relationships with political power, justice, and morality.
By attending the lectures and by studying the textbooks, the students shall be able to:

-develop an interest in philosophical issues concerning law;

-know and understand the basic concepts and paradigmatic issues of philosophy of law, from both a theoretical and historical point of view;

- recognize, understand, and compare the different perspectives of legal thought;

-analyze representative texts by philosophers of law, from both a theoretical and historical point of view;

- apply the acquired knowledge to some problems arising in the current practice of law;

- understand and master the special vocabulary of legal philosophy, and improve their language skills and expressive ability with reference to that vocabulary.

Prerequisites

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Course unit content

This course offers a basic overview of classical philosophy of law; moreover, special focuses shall be dedicated to its contemporary developments.

Two main issues shall be addressed:

1. An outline of the prominent schools of legal thought (natural law theory; legal positivism; legal realism; neo-constitutionalism; institutionalism), from both a theoretical and historical point of view, through the analysis of some paradigmatic texts by philosophers of law.

2. A critical reflection about the role of the law in contemporary societies, in dialogue with other fields of knowledge, with regard to education, communication, citizenship, environmental sustainability, human rights, justice.

Full programme

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Bibliography

a) Two books;
b) Slides available on Elly.

In particular:
1. C. FARALLI, Le grandi correnti della filosofia del diritto, Giappichelli, Torino.
Ed. 2022:
- Sophocles, p. 192;
- Cicero, pp. 214-219;
- Grotius, pp. 231-233;
- Hobbes, pp. 233-243;
- Locke, pp. 243-249;
- Rousseau, pp. 253-258;
- Kant, pp. 259-262, 264;
- Austin, pp. 269-273;
- Kelsen, pp. 273-288;
- Hart, pp. 288-305;
- Olivecrona, pp. 317-323;
- Ross, pp. 323-326;
- Llewellyn, pp. 326-328;
- Frank, pp. 328-333;
- Hart, pp. 339-341;
- Alexy, pp. 341-345;
- Raz, pp. 345-348;
- MacCormick-Weinberger, pp. 360-363.

Ed. 2014:
- Sophocles, pp. 138-139;
- Cicero, pp. 143-149;
- Grotius, pp. 167-170;
- Hobbes, pp. 171-184;
- Locke, pp. 185-193;
- Rousseau, pp. 198-205;
- Kant, pp. 207-10, 213;
- Austin, pp. 221-226;
- Kelsen, pp. 226-246;
- Hart, pp. 246-271;
- Olivecrona, pp. 281-9;
- Ross, pp. 289-292;
- Llewellyn, pp. 292-295;
- Frank, pp. 295-302.
- Current debate (slides).

2. M. ZANICHELLI (Ed.), Il diritto visto da fuori, FrancoAngeli, Milano 2020 (only the essays by Zanichelli, Santerini, Giua, Giorgi, Borgna, Mencarelli, Dapunt, pp. 7-15, 29-48, 95-104, 167-172, 195-203).

Teaching methods

Lectures are basically intended to guide the students to master the subjects addressed in the textbooks, and to develop critical ability and autonomy of judgement.
Students shall be encouraged to participate, interact, and take the floor.
Lectures shall pay attention to analysis of some paradigmatic texts by philosophers of law, in order to allow the students a more concrete approach to the addressed issues.
At the beginning of the course, some basic concepts of philosophy of law shall be clarified (such as natural law theory, legal positivism, legal realism, legal institutionalism, neo-constitutionalism), in order to make the attending students able to easily understand the issues addressed in the following lectures, and to make the non attending students able to understand the textbooks without difficulty.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination (to be carried out in alphabetical order), consisting of at least three questions concerning the issues addressed in the textbooks.
Different types of questions:
- broad and general questions intended to test the knowledge of prominent legal philosophers and schools of legal thought;
- more specific questions intended to test the ability to recognize, compare, and distinguish the different perspectives of legal thought, through the analysis of some texts;
- questions focusing on the understanding of the main concepts and problems of philosophy of law.
Mark range: 30/30 and mention to 18/30.
Evaluation criteria:
- broadness and depth of the acquired knowledge;
- adequate competence in order to understand the mentioned topics;
- adequate competence in order to analyse texts by philosophers of law;
- thoughtful exposition of the subjects, beyond a mechanical repetition;
- language skills and expressive ability with reference to the special vocabulary of legal philosophy.

Other information

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