PHILOS 3Q03 PhilosOfLaw
Academic Year: Winter 2017
Instructor: Dr. Matthew Grellette
Office: University Hall 308
Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23462
Office Hours: Wednesday, from 11:30 to 12:30pm
- Course Objectives
- Textbooks, Materials & Fees
- Method of Assessment
- Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties
- Additional Policies and Statements
- Topics and Readings
- Other Course Information
Class: Location: BSB 132; Time: Tuesdays, 3:30pm-5:20pm and Thursdays, 3:30pm-4:20pm
TA’s: William Coke: firstname.lastname@example.org
This course will be separated into two distinct sections of philosophical study. The first will focus upon the foundational endeavour of legal theory: inquiring into the nature of law, as such. Here, you will investigate and critically consider the philosophical positions of Natural Law, Legal Realism, Legal Positivism, and Ronald Dworkin’s account of “Law as Integrity”. In the second half of this class you will be exposed to a pair of contemporary debates in normative jurisprudence, including the legitimacy of capital punishment and the legitimacy of gay marriage.
Textbooks, Materials & Fees:
Readings will be comprised of a variety of professional articles and online sources, made available to
class members via Avenue to Learn !
This course uses Avenue to post the course outline, readings, assignments and other notices.
Method of Assessment:
Class members are required to hand in 8 response papers, of 1-2 pages each, over the course of the
term (not more than one per week). These will be judged according to their success in outlining the
main themes and arguments of the readings assigned for that week. The grading will be pass/fail.
Take Home Mid-Term
Class members will be asked to complete a 1500 word take home assignment regarding the content
of the first six weeks of class. Class members will have one week to complete this task.
Class members are required to complete a single 2500 word paper. Expectations about the specific
content of this assignment will be discussed in class.
Class members are required to write a final exam. The content of the exam will be based on the material
that is covered after the mid-term is assigned.
Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:
Late assignments will be penalized 5% of the assignment’s worth per day late. Missed assignments
will be dealt with via the MSAF (described below).
Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.
Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
- Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
- Improper collaboration in group work.
- Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Email correspondence policy
It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.
Modification of course outlines
The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)
In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.
Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities
Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail email@example.com. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.
Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances
Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.
Topics and Readings:
Week 1: Introduction and Background
Week 2: Traditional Natural Law Theory
Aquinas’ ‘Treatise on Law’: Question 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96
Week 3: Modern Natural Law Theory/Austin’s Critique
Murphy ‘Natural Law Jurisprudence’: pp. 255-260
Austin “Lectures on Jurisprudence’: pp. 220-222
Week 4: Command Theory
Austin’s PJD 1st Edn, Lecture I, pp. 1-30
Austin’s PJD 1st Edn: Lecture VI’, pp. 198-206
Hart ‘Separation of Law and Morality’ pp. 600-606
Week 5: Legal Realism
Alf Ross’s OLJ, pp. 29-38
Oliver Wendall Holmes’ The Path of Law
H.L.A. Hart ‘Scandinavian Realism’
*Mid-term Assigned, Feb. 2th
Week 6 Legal Positivism
H.L.A. Hart’s Concept of Law - Excerpt.
*Mid-Term Due, Feb. 9th
Week 7: ! Law as Integrity
Ronald Dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously
Ronald Dworkin, Law’s Empire - Excerpt
Mid-Term Break - Feb 20-26
Week 8: Modern Positivism
H.L.A. Hart, Separation of Law and Morals - Sec. V (621-624)
Wilfrid Waluchow - Inclusive vs Exclusive Legal Positivism
Mark Murphy, ‘Natural Law Jurisprudence’: pp 260-264
*Term Essay Assigned
Week 9: Death Penalty
Louis Pojman - A Defence of the Death Penalty
Nathansan - Why We Should Put the Death Penalty to Rest
Week 10: Death Penalty
Matthew Kramer, Ethics of Capital Punishment: Intro and Ch. 6
Week 11: Gay Marriage
Halpern v Canada (AG)
Week 12: Gay Marriage
George, Girgis, Anderson, ‘What is Marriage?’
*Term Paper Due
Week 13: Exam Prep/Concluding Lecture
Other Course Information:
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF):
In the event of an absence, students should review and follow the Academic Regulations in the Undergraduate
Calendar “Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work.” Please consult the
MSAF statement on our website (https://artsci.mcmaster.ca/forms-requests/) and direct any questions
or concerns to Shelley Anderson or Rebecca Bishop in the Arts & Science Program Office as appropriate.
Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities:
Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to
make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for
each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext.
28652 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for
Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.
The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The
university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either
type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students
will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of
students to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any
changes. Announcements will be made in class and by using the course email distribution list. !!!!