Brandeis University, Philosophy Department
Spring 2005
Brandeis University Web Stite

Philosophy 22B

Philosophy of Law

Professor Andreas Teuber
Prof. Teuber


Course Description

  1. The course will cover a number of central topics in the philosophy of law: the nature of criminal responsibility (what is a crime?), necessity and duress, causation in the law, negligence and liability, criminal attempts, omissions and the duty to rescue, insanity and excuse, the aims and limits of criminal punishment, and the nature and limits of law.

  2. An effort will be made to get at the principles underlying differing judicial judgments about particular cases as well as to answer more general questions: Under what conditions should a person be held responsible for his or her acts? Under what conditions may one be excused? Suppose I simply make a mistake? Or was merely careless? Or was mentally unstable? Is it fair to punish me for a harm I caused but did not intend? And if I fail to commit a crime, should I be punished less severely than if I had succeeded?

  3. Specific topics will include sleepwalking, persons subject to post-hypnotic suggestion, faith healers, mis-administered poisons, misfired bullets, and foiled attempts. Also: felony-murder, strict criminal liability, and a brief excursus on whether the law is more or less like the rules of a game (e.g. chess or poker), cooking recipes, or the Ten Commandments.

The course meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12:10 PM to 1:00 PM., in OLIN-SANG 101., See Campus Map.

In addition, you will have the option of meeting in smaller discussion sections after a paer topic is handed out and beofre a paper is due. The section times will be posted. Sections will not be required, but will be avaialble for any- and everyone who wishes to seize the opportunity to explore in greater depth some of the matters to which we shall put our minds in this course.

Syllabus Handouts and Lecture Notes
Section Times Class Discussion

Contact Info

The course is taught by ANDREAS TEUBER. You may wish to take a look at the SHORT BIOGRAPHY and the CV which are online to glean some idea of who the instructor is. During the Fall you can reach me as follows:

Office hours: Mondays and Thursdays 2:10-3:00 PM
and by appointment. Office Phone: 1-781-736-2787
Email: <>

Feel free to drop in for any reason any time during my office hours. (If I'm already speaking with someone, let me know that you're waiting.) I am happy to talk about paper ideas, continue class discussion, and so on. If these hours are inconvenient, we can arrange to meet by appointment. Or you can email me. I read my email several times each day and usually respond right away.

The teaching fellows for the course are
Dan Breen - Email: <> and
Sharon Fray-Witzer - Email: <>



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Last Modified: 01/16/05
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