790-373 - PHILOSOPHY OF LAW RIGHTS AND...

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PHILOSOPHY OF LAW, RIGHTS AND JUSTICE (a.k.a. “Jurisprudence”) 790: 373 (Spring 2009) Diana Boros [email protected] Lectures : Tuesday and Thursday, 2:15- 3:35 CDL-102 Office hours : After class and by appointment Course Description and Format: Because ideas always exert themselves through human beings, it is important to remind ourselves that, from the late middle ages in Europe, public affairs such as administration and politics have been for the most part in the hands of jurists, and that since antiquity law has always been regarded as the decisive means of giving direction to state and society. . . . No one knows better than the jurists the weakness of a social system in which law is prevalent. No one knows better that law can function only when it is framed by moral and religious obligations. . . . Helmut Coing, “Das Recht als Element der europäischen Kultur,” Historische Zeitschrift , 238 (1984), 13 and 15, quoted in Gerald Strauss, Law, Resistance, and the State: The Opposition to Roman Law in Reformation Germany (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986), p. ix and n. 1; Strauss’s translation In modern society, law is the primary means through which people encounter and interact with their states and governments. Even though we are often unaware of its role, law is the principal source of the regularity and predictable order that all societies presuppose; it is society’s chief form of social control. As it is created by individuals, it can be a vehicle for furthering specific interests as well as for keeping potentially disruptive forces in check.
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