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IFCO 2335 - Political Philosophy of Law

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This course will explore the genealogy of contemporary critical philosophy and law, through the careful reading and discussion of heavily edited texts by philosophers and jurists who have had a deep influence on modern legal thought and social theory. The course will work to identifying the development and subsequent transformation of new modes of legal reasoning, as bearing on law as a supposedly autonomous discipline. A narrative on the role of law and legal thought in modern political philosophy might emerge. These authors are Bentham, Kant, Hegel, Savigny, Marx, Kierkegaard, Jhering, Nietzsche, Weber, Freud, Kelsen and Schmitt.


  • KENNEDY, Duncan (Professeur émérite)
  • XIFARAS, Mikhaïl (Professeur des Universités à Sciences Po)

Pedagogical format

This Common core curriculum course will be taught in a lecture format. On sessions 3, 4, 5, 9, 10 and 11 will be co-taught by both Professors Xifaras and Kennedy. Other sessions will be conducted by Professor Xifaras. Tutorials will be provided by the course TA.

Course validation

Mid-term paper (home): 30 % of the final grade. Final paper (home) : 70 % of the final grade.


Weekly readings of variable length and difficulty will be posted on the drive. Required readings constitute the central element of the class and that students must be prepared to engage in a discussion of the basis of the text for each class (if that is the case). Tutorials will be provided to help with the readings.

Required reading

  • Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
  • Kant, The Metaphysics of Morals
  • Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit
  • Savigny, System of the Modern Roman Law
  • Karl Marx, Theft of wood case