Philosophy of Law

The course introduces students to philosophical considerations that underpin laws and legal systems, their functioning, and their limitations.

Philosophy of Law course builds on the work they have been doing in previous philosophy courses like Introduction to Philosophy, Ethics, Philosophy of Science and Political philosophy, applying the capabilities learnt there to a new domain. It also draws on the students’ capabilities and understanding developed in history, UI and literature courses, especially in the sensitivity to context required when applying philosophical ideas to contemporary Indian judgements.

Through this course, students will learn how law can be conceived as rules on human conduct in different ways, how the judicial system functions in the process of coming to a judgement, the fairness and lack thereof of legal systems, and how we must respond to both fair and unfair legal systems.. All these contribute to an understanding of jurisprudence and various debates about its nature and implementation.

The course, thus, contributes to the aims of the programme by introducing students to
philosophical and contemporary issues in law. The aim of the course is two-fold. Firstly, it
builds on the courses that they have already undertaken to apply the same skills to a different domain – that of law – and thus increases their capacity to engage with issues that arise in the context of jurisprudence, its nature, and its role in society. Secondly, it aims to familiarise students with legal documents (like laws and judgements) especially how to read them, interpret them, and how to analyse them. These skills will enable students to take up a wide range of projects after leaving APU.

The course is thus appropriate for philosophy students who have undertaken courses like
Introduction to Philosophy, Political philosophy, Ethics, Philosophy of Science, and common
curriculum courses.