Philosophy and Law (Minor)

The Philosophy and Law minor was developed for students interested in issues at the intersection of philosophy and law. It is especially appropriate for students interested in legal or law-related careers who are concerned about the moral aspects of the law and its role in society. 

It is directed by a Philosophy Faculty member (since 2005, Prof. Mickaella Perina), but courses in this program are taught by philosophers, lawyers, and other faculty in the liberal arts with expertise in the law. 

The minor is conceived of as interdisciplinary; in addition to the Philosophy and Phillaw courses students are required and encouraged to take courses in other departments (AFRSTY, HIST, POLSCI, WGS) to develop an understanding of American society, political institutions, and American legal history. 


Six (6) required courses:

Introductory courses (choose 1):

  • PHIL 100 (Introduction to Philosophy)
  • PHIL 120 (Introduction to Logic)
  • PHIL 108 (Moral and Social Problems

Intermediate courses (2 required):

  • PHIL 290 (Philosophy of Law)
  • PHILLAW 210 (Legislative Labyrinth)

Advanced Courses (2 required):

  • PHILLAW 300 (Basic Legal Reasoning and Research)
  • One course from the following list (choose 1):                            
    • PHIL 410 (Feminist Legal Theory)
    • PHIL 411 (Critical Legal Theory)
    • PHIL 450 (Rights)
    • PHIL 418 (The ideas of Constitutional Democracy)     

Cognate Courses (choose 1):

  • AFRSTY 430 (Race and the American legal process)
  • HISTORY 378 (American legal History)
  • PHILLAW 400 (Advanced Legal Reasoning and Research)
  • POLSCI 329 (American Constitutional Law)
  • POLSCI 332 (Civil Liberties in the US)
  • POLSCI 335 (Law and Public Policy)
  • POLSCI 415 (Law and International Relations)
  • SOCIOL 467 (Sociology of Law)
  • WGS 291 (Family Law)
  • WGS 292 (Family Law Practice)
  • Any other PHILLAW course

Restrictions on courses that count towards the Minor:

  • Only one course (PHIL 120) can qualify for Pass-Fail
  • Only 1 transfer introductory course can be admitted in the minor (PHIL 100 or PHIL 108 but not PHIL 120).