Scientific Disciplinary Sector (SSD)
IUS/20 - PHILOSOPHY OF LAW
1° periodo lezioni (1A), 1° periodo lezioni (1B)
The course is intended to provide the student with the knowledge of the complexity of law and of its fundamental logic, as well as of the evolution of the main philosophical and methodological schools oriented to explain the legal dimension of social relationships.
At the end of the course, the student will be able to elaborate on legal issues, in both written and oral forms, applying concepts and categories of the general theory of law, developing proper reasoning and argumentation, using an appropriate and specific vocabulary, reaching independent judgement on actual cases, adopting a method based on continuous learning and knowledge updating.
Prerequisites and basic notions
No previous knowledge required.
The course will be divided into three parts. After an initial part devoted to the pre-understanding of what constitutes 'law', and a subsequent part devoted to the main legal concepts identified by the General Theory of Law, the course will focus – in its last part – on the determination of the relevant ‘law’ in the case as the outcome of an interpretative and argumentative process whose starting and finishing points can be said to be anything but predictable for the jurist. The distance learning lessons of the workshop will be devoted to what is considered 'taken for granted' in the case: the 'fact'.
Lectures (8 CFU, 48 hours)
A) Part I - What we (don’t) know (of knowing) about law
- Law as a complex phenomenon
- ‘The Case of the Speluncean Explorers' of Lon L. Fuller (and its historical antecedents)
- Opinions of the Supreme Court Justices of Newgarth
- A fiction to understand the main theories on law
B) Part II - The contribution of the General Theory of Law: some basic concepts
- What is General Theory of Law?
- Concept of (legal) ‘norm’
- Concept of 'law’
- Concept of 'legal system'
C) Part III - The juridical method
- The juridical method
- The juridical language
- The case
- The problem of identifying the relevant 'law' in the case: interpretation and argumentation
Distance learning in synchronous mode (1 CFU Lab, 12 hours)
- The problem of identifying the relevant 'fact' in the case: reconstruction and argumentation
- Linking 'fact' and 'law' in the case: legal reasoning, between logic and persuasion
- A cinematographic verification: '12 Angry Men' by Sidney Lumet
The course combines 48 hours of lectures with a 12-hour online workshop, supported by the use of Power Point presentations.
For a better assimilation of the topics addressed and developed within the course, in-depth analysis is also planned through the screening of a film and a seminar lecture by another lecturer.
Learning assessment procedures
For students attending lectures, the learning assessment will consist of a written pre-assessment on the part of the course programme taken so far and a final written assessment, both structured in open-ended questions. If the pre-assessment test is not taken, an overall written assessment, also structured in open-ended questions, will take place. In any case, in order to obtain the final mark, the option of an oral supplement is reserved. If parts of the course programme are found to be insufficient in one or both tests, a compulsory oral integration is envisaged following the final or single written assessment, provided that the sufficient answers in that assessment prevail over the insufficient ones; otherwise, the student will have to repeat the entire assessment (in a single solution).
For students who don’t attend lectures, the learning test will consist of a written assessment, structured in open-ended questions. Passing the test will result in a passing mark, subject always to the option of a final oral integration. If, on the contrary, certain parts of the course programme are found to be insufficient, a compulsory oral integration is envisaged, provided that the sufficient answers in the assessment prevail over the insufficient ones; otherwise, the student will have to repeat the entire assessment.
Erasmus students may have the opportunity to discuss orally a thesis on a topic arranged with the lecturer in relation to the relationship between law and morality.
The learning assessment will be carried out in Italian, without prejudice, for Erasmus students, to the possibility of presenting the thesis in English or Spanish.
The examination will deal with the texts included in the bibliography, with the aim of assessing the students' ability to discuss the topics addressed in the course. In particular, the student must demonstrate
- understanding and knowledge;
- ability to formulate judgements;
- communicative qualities;
- method of study.
For attending students as well as for non-attending students, the final assessment is expressed in 30ths, the final assessment, expressed in 30ths, will be made taking into account:
a) the depth and breadth of knowledge acquired;
b) the property of language
c) analytical and argumentative capacity;
d) the capacity for critical reflection.
Criteria for the composition of the final grade
For students who attend lectures:
- the positive result of the written pre-assessment, expressed in 30ths, will be averaged with the result of the final written test;
- the result of the final written test, consisting of open-ended questions, may lead to the awarding of the mark, subject to optional oral integration, or may be subject to compulsory oral integration;
- in the event of a negative result in the final written test, the positive result of the pre-assessment will be considered valid until the following examination session, after which the examination must be taken again in full;
- in the event that the pre-test has not been taken, the mark obtained as a result of the assessment shall be a single mark, without prejudice to the faculty or the possible obligation of oral integration;
- the assessment of the teaching activities carried out in the 'laboratory' must be considered to all intents and purposes as part of the overall assessment.
For students who do not attend lectures:
the examination will take the form of a single written test consisting of open-ended questions. If the student passes this test, he/she will either receive the mark directly, except for optional oral integration, or will be subject to compulsory oral integration.