MVV147K Introduction to the Philosophy of Law

Faculty of Law
Spring 2017
Extent and Intensity
0/1/0. 5 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Robert E. Shapiro (seminar tutor), doc. JUDr. Ing. Michal Radvan, Ph.D. (deputy)
JUDr. Bc. Markéta Štěpáníková, Ph.D. (assistant)
doc. JUDr. Ing. Michal Radvan, Ph.D.
Faculty of Law
Contact Person: Mgr. Věra Redrupová, B.A.
Supplier department: Faculty of Law
Timetable of Seminar Groups
MVV147K/01: Tue 16. 5. 16:40–18:10 025, Wed 17. 5. 13:30–15:00 025, 15:05–16:35 025, Thu 18. 5. 16:40–18:10 025, Fri 19. 5. 8:00–9:30 025, 9:35–11:05 025
Prerequisites (v češtině)
MP724Zk International Trade Law
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 30 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 5/30, only registered: 1/30
Fields of study the course is directly associated with
there are 31 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
This course will consider from a philosophical standpoint the question “what is law?” Like many philosophical inquiries, this one asks us to explain something that seems almost obvious and commonplace. The goal of the course is to investigate more carefully what we mean when we refer to or obey the law. Students will focus on four major topic areas:
1. What is law? Is it “natural” or something that is merely created by human beings?;
2. Why are there different laws for different peoples and, given that each individual person within a country is different, why is there one law for everyone in that country?;
3. What are the types of law?;
4. In democratic countries, we tend to view the law as whatever has been adopted by duly-elected legislatures. But what entitles them to enact the law? And how and why are their enactments superior to a decision of a single wise ruler concerning what is best for his or her people?
At the conclusion of the course, students will have studied and be more conversant in such topics as:
– the relationship between law and justice;
– the role of law in civil society;
– the question of religious law;
– the difference between civil and common law;
– the problem posed by international law;
  • 1. What Is Law?
  • Reading: Plato, Minos
  • 2. What Is Law?
  • Reading: Plato, Minos
  • 3. What Are The Types of Law?
  • Reading: Aquinas, Treatise On Law
  • 4. Modern Law: The Natural Rights Model
  • Reading: Hobbes, Leviathan
  • 5. Modern Law: The Civil Model
  • Reading: Rousseau, Social Contract
  • 6. What Is Law?
  • Review of the Readings
  • See the Reading list in the Teacher’s Information
Teaching methods
Although Professor Shapiro will present some of the information by way of lecture, much of each class period will be devoted to classroom discussion in which the students will be expected to share their own ideas regarding the critical questions. As a result, students will be expected to have done the assigned reading in advance of class.
Assessment methods
The Assessment will be based upon an examination with multiple choice and short answer questions.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only v češtině)
The course is taught only once.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2014.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
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