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Advanced Political and Legal Philosophy - ARTS3362
 Students studying

Course Outline: Contact School
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Undergraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 3
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: Enrolment in a major or minor in Philosophy and 72 uoc overall including 12 uoc at Level 2 in the major or minor
CSS Contribution Charge:Band 1 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


This is a shelf course. A shelf course comprises a number of modules related to this broad area of study. Each module is a separate semester of study in this area and is offered in rotation. You can study TWO modules but you cannot study the same module twice.

Subject Area: Philosophy
This course can also be studied in the following specialisations: Legal Studies*

Topics may include one or more of the following: freedom, equality, justice (including distributive, historical and reparative justice); democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law, rights (legal and political), legitimate political power, sovereignty, states of emergency and exceptionalism; political and legal concepts, legal reasoning, critical approaches to law. Contemporary approaches to political theory considered may include: liberalism, especially Rawls's Political Liberalism, libertarianism, egalitarianism, communitarianism, republicanism, marxism, feminism, poststructuralism, cosmopolitanism. Approaches to law discussed may include legal positivism, realism, rights based theories, pragmatism and contemporary critical theories.

Module: "Advanced Political Philosophy" (Semester 1, 2011)
John Rawls is the key figure in the revival of normative political philosophy during the latter half of the Twentieth Century. His work and reactions to it will form the core of this course. Lectures will cover the key elements of his theory of justice and the changes introduced by his turn to Political Liberalism. They will also canvass some of the criticisms from other approaches (libertarian, communitarian, marxist, feminist, republican, cosmopolitan and poststructuralist) as well as some of Rawls’s historical sources and opponents (Kantian deontology, utilitarianism). Topics covered may include freedom, equality, justice (distributive, historical and cosmopolitan), rights, democracy, legitimacy, public reason, ideal and non-ideal theory and the nature of political concepts.

Module: "Philosophy of Law"
* Note: Only this module contributes to Legal Studies

This course will examine a range of conceptual and normative issues in the philosophy of law, including the nature of law and legal reasoning, the difference between law and arbitrary power, the relationship between law and justice, the relationship between law and violence, the relationship between law and morality, the role of law in liberal democratic government, the nature of rights, the limits of state power and individual freedom. These issues will be explored through examination of classical texts by Austin, Kelson, Hart, Schmitt, and a range of contemporary political and legal theorists such as Rawls, Dworkin, Cornell, Nussbaum and Foucault. The course will cover some of the main contemporary approaches including legal positivism, legal realism, pragmatism and a range of critical theories of law including feminism, critical race theory and postmodernism.

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.