Philosophy of Law

From the constitutional era (the early 1900's) through today, a desire for the rule of law in accordance with the public will has driven much civic organizing in Iran. Within intellectual and activist circles, however, there has been a lack of detailed analysis of legal concepts. The philosophy of law analyzes legal concepts using methods of philosophical reason. In this series of lectures, participants will gain a basic understanding of several important legal theories and the work of some of the most important legal philosophers. This series will focus on two central questions:

  1. What is law?
  2. What is the relationship between "law" and "morality"?

More specifically, is there an essential conceptual relationship between the "law" (or legal validity) and "morality" (or moral validity)?

To answer these questions, participants will review four theories:

  1. The theory of natural law (Aquinas, Finnis, Fuller);
  2. The theory of legal positivism (Austin, Hart);
  3. The theory of legal realism; and
  4. The theory of the law as a coherent whole (Dworkin).

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