Law and Philosophy Workshop

The Law and Philosophy Workshop is actually is a graduate seminar, not a Council on Advanced Studies Workshop, although it is called a "workshop" by the Law School. Many participants are faculty from various related disciplines. The Law and Philosophy Workshop admits approximately ten students. Its aim is to study, each year, a topic that arises in both philosophy and the law and to ask how bringing the two fields together may yield mutual illumination. Most sessions are led by visiting speakers, from either outside institutions or our own faculty, who circulate their papers in advance. The session consists of a brief introduction by the speaker, followed by initial questioning by the two faculty coordinators, followed by general discussion, in which students are given priority. Several sessions involve students only and are led by the instructors. Students write a 20-25 page seminar paper at the end of the year. The course satisfies the Law School Substantial Writing Requirement. There are approximately four meetings in each of the three quarters. Students must therefore enroll for all three quarters.

The Law and Philosophy Workshop meets twelve times throughout the year, mostly in fall and winter quarters, and always on Monday afternoons, 4:00-6:00. In 2018-19, the lead instructor will be Brian Leiter. This year's theme is "Enlightenment Liberalism and Its Critics." About half of the sessions will discuss philosophical and legal issues related to animal rights, and the other half will discuss issues of environmental ethics, focusing on the ethics of climate change.

Students are admitted by permission of the two instructors. They should email a CV and a statement (reasons for interest in the course, relevant background in law and/or philosophy) to the instructors by September 20 each year. Usual participants include graduate students in philosophy, political science, and divinity, and law students. Anyone who wants to be on the email list for the papers, and also if they want to read a particular paper, should contact Lorrie Wehrs at