PHILOSOPHY OF LAW
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The student will achieve a firm knowledge of the meaning of general and preliminary concepts such as natural law, positive law, rule of law, legal positivism. Subsequently the “philosophical bases of constitutionalism” will be dealt with, intended as that legal theory which surpassed legal positivism. In particular, fundamental concepts of the first three articles of the Italian Constitution, among which: citizenship, democracy, inviolable rights and liberty, equality, labour, people, sovereignty, State. Nonetheless, object of the teaching will be some notions (e.g. community, morality, tolerance) through which in the philosophical debate specific normative arguments were shaped, that are related to pluralism and social integration, to the realization of the “good life”, to the relation of rights with morals, contrasting the inequalities of a democratic society.
Aim of the course is to provide conceptual instruments through which the student may acquire autonomy of judgment concerning themes of the current affairs that are relevant from a philosophical and legal point of view.
Secundary – at least – effect of the courses (where fundamental concepts of our legal culture and relevant arguments of the legal philosophical debate are discussed) is to increase language, communication and argument skills of the student.
The student will achieve a firm fundamental legal philosophical education, which will enable him to read and understand texts of prominent authors of the contemporary legal philosophical thought.
Course contents summary
The first part of the course concerns some fundamental issues of legal and political philosophy, concepts and principles to begin with, that are found in the first three articles of the Italian Constitution. The didactic aim is that of reconstructing “the philosophical bases of constitutionalism”. The second part will offer a reconsideration and a theoretical elaboration of the notions that nowadays spread the normative reflection concerning human rights. With this aim some sectors of the contemporary philosophical discussion will be examined and commented, who focus the relevant arguments for the legal philosopher as well as for the practical jurist. Notions such as universalism, contextualism, relativism, cultural pluralism, human dignity, forms of discrimination.
1) A. Barbera (a cura di), Le basi filosofiche del costituzionalismo, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2007; 2) Diritti umani e soggetti vulnerabili (a cura di Th. Casadei, Torino, Giappichelli, 2012): la Prima parte (fino a p. 116)
The didactic method is the traditional oral exposition of the subject matter
Assessment methods and criteria
For the attending students it is foreseen the possibility of a test to verify the comprehension during the course.
During the course, for the attending students, it will be made a test with multiple choice: the participation is optional. The final exam is the traditional oral exposition. During the exam, the students who had the test may decide to accept that evaluation or to better it. The second part of the exam will be oral. The students without the test, will be examined through the traditional exam.