Course Syllabus PHL 271 2014
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1PHL 271H1F: Law and Morality Professor Sophia Moreau
Flavelle House, rm 213
ES 1050 MW 11 78 Queen’s Park Crescent
In this course, we will examine a series of questions about the relation between law and morality.
We will start with some questions about the nature of law and the role of moral principles in adjudication.
How do we know what the law is? Does correctly identifying and applying the law ever require a judge
to engage in controversial moral argument? We will then consider whether the law implicitly reflects the
values of certain groups rather than others. Many feminists have argued that it does, and we will consider
their arguments in relation to several areas of the law. Finally, we will look at two important values,
liberty and equality. We will examine the different ways in which one might understand these values, and
we will ask which kind of liberty and which kind of equality should matter to us from a legal standpoint.
Which kind of liberty should the state protect, and what limits does this place on majority rule? And
should the state always treat everyone equally? In what sense, and why?
All of the readings for the course are contained in Law and Morality: Readings in Legal Philosophy, 3rd
Edition, ed. Dyzenhaus, Moreau and Ripstein. It is available at the University of Toronto Bookstore.
Note: You must have the 3rd edition. The earlier editions omit much of the material we are using.
Short answer test on October 1 covering Section 1. Closed book. (25%)
Short essay due in tutorial on November 5 covering Sections 2 + 3. Topic given out October 27. (35%)
Two hour final examination in the regular examination period. Closed book. (40%)
Tutorials (starting Sept. 17)
In addition to the Wednesday lectures, each of you has a weekly tutorial with one of our Tutorial Leaders.
The purpose of the tutorials is to give you a chance to clarify points made during the lectures and to
discuss your ideas about what we have read.
I have office hours on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 to 9:30am in Flavelle House rm 213, and I am
also happy to stay after class to discuss questions or concerns.
1. Missed test: If you miss the in-class test, you must e-mail your TA as soon as possible. You may write
a make-up test if you can provide a doctor’s note. The make-up test will be held approximately two
weeks after the original test, during your regular tutorial time.
2. Late penalty for short essay without a doctor’s note. The late penalty for the short essay is 5 grade
points out of 100 per day of lateness, including weekend days (ie from an 80 to a 75, to a 70, etc).
3. Recordings: I do not permit my lectures to be recorded or photographed.
4. Accessibility Services: If you think you need any kind of accommodation for any disability, you should
contact Accessibility Services as soon as you can. Do not wait until the end of term to do this. You can
e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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