Philosophy of law 2 (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Carlo Lottieri
Carlo Lottieri
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
2° periodo di lezioni - aprile/maggio 2021, 2° periodo di lezioni - febbraio/marzo 2021

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course has the purpose to invite students to think in a critical way the relationship between law and politics, forcing them to investigate the fundamental reasons of the legal order. Specifically, the lessons will have the goal to enforce the awareness – already acquired in the previous years of study – that legal orders cannot repress the individual liberty, because it has the aim to protect it. In this sense a special attention will be reserved to the issue of consent, as basis of a legitimate order, and therefore to the discussion about the limits of any sovereign “political obligation”. For this reason the course will have a specific philosophical content and, at the same, will push to consider the modern State within a historical perspective.


In the first part, the course will analyse the crucial change introduced, in the Western civilization, by the success of the modern State, when the medieval legal system disappears and Europe starts to adopt the Westfalian order. Later the attention will be for many scholars of different times (La Boétie, Locke, Jefferson, Thoreau, Spooner, Passerin d’Entrèves, Huemer), with the aim to call the attention on an intellectual tradition firmly oriented to protect individual liberty and to reject State coercion.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Immanuel Kant Che cos'è l'Illuminismo? Editori Riuniti 2017
Thomas Jefferson Dichiarazione di Indipendenza degli Stati Uniti 1776
Etienne de la Boetie Discorso sulla servitù volontaria Liberilibri 2004
Henry David Thoreau Disobbedienza civile 1849
Michael Huemer Il problema dell´autorita´ politica Liberilibri 2016
Lysander Spooner I vizi non sono crimini Liberilibri 1998
Alessandro Passerin d´Entreves Obbligo e resistenza in una societa´ democratica Edizioni di Comunita´ 1970
John Locke Secondo trattato del governo civile 1688

Assessment methods and criteria

The oral examination, based on suggested bibliography, is oriented to evaluate student’s ability to discuss the topics of the course. 
 The student must demonstrate: 
- knowledge and understanding; 
- ability to make judgements; 
- communication skills; 
- learning skills.