Philosophy

(i) Why, according to Robin West, has legal positivism come to be associated with anti-critical acquiescence in the legal status quo, and an enemy of both criticism and reform of the law?

(ii) What, according to Robin West, is the familiar account given of natural law and its affinity for legal revolution?

(iii) What are the crucial differences between the perspectives on the “law” of the judge, qua judge and the perspective of the legal critic (in Robin West’s article, the constitutional critic, in particular)?

(iv) Why, ultimately, does Robin West insist that legal positivism has comparative and entirely pragmatic virtues, in contrast to the potential risks from the ambiguity of natural law theory?

(v) What might a contemporary defender of natural law theory say in response to Robin West’s arguments?

(vi) What notions of law are reflected in the article by Andrei Marmor?

(vii) Recall that Brian Tamanaha identified three distinct concepts/ formulations/ categories of law. What, in the light of having read the materials for the course, do you perceive to be the strengths and weaknesses of each of those three concepts?

(viii) Which of those concepts of law did you find most relevant to the debates discussed in the course, and why?

(ix) On the basis of what you have learned in the course, why do philosophers believe that great insights can be attained from applying philosophical theories and principles to actual legal cases, such as the Charter cases we’ve been studying?

PLUS: Post questions about the legal theories covered in the course, as well as questions about second/ final essay assignment and about anything that remains unclear about the course content relevant to the assignment.

AND
Insights and Reflections on the course:
Comment on the structure of the course, the readings, the topics, the issues, the cases, the assignments, and the aspects of the course you found most/least helpful or interesting.

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