A study of the American philosophical tradition of pragmatism as a unique and original contribution to Western philosophy. The focus of the course is on the thought of four classical American philosophers: Peirce, James, Santayana, and Dewey. It will also consider the intersection of pragmatism with analytic and linguistic philosophy. Finally, the course will examine the origin of pragmatism in American intellectual history, keeping in mind social and cultural influences, and will look ahead to the influence and relevance of pragmatism for present-day culture.
In this course we will examine philosophical issues in law and legal theory. These issues fall into three broad categories of study: (1) questions relating to the moral authority of law and its limits, questions of civil disobedience, and theories of punishment; (2) general theories of the nature of law (natural law, legal positivism, and critical theories of law as a practice of social domination); (3) questions about the role of courts and constitutions in a democratic society.