Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory


Fall Semester 2018

All classes meet in 141 Boalt Hall (unless otherwise noted*), Fridays from 12:00pm-3:15pm. To request a copy of papers contact:

Course description:

This course is a workshop for discussing work-in-progress in moral, political, and legal theory. The workshop creates a space for students to engage directly with philosophers, political theorists, and legal scholars working on normative questions toward the goal of fostering critical thinking about concepts of value and developing analytical thinking and writing skills. Another aim is to bring together people from different disciplines and perspectives who have strong normative interests or who speak to issues philosophers and theorists should know something about. In Fall 2018, the theme will be free speech. The list of invited speakers is below.

The format of the course is as follows. For the sessions with guest presenters, lunch will be served starting at 12:00. We’ll begin at 12:15. A designated commentator will lead off with a 15-minute comment on the paper. The presenter will have 5-10 minutes to respond and then we will open up the discussion to the group. The first part of the course will be open to non-enrolled students, faculty, and visitors who wish to participate in the workshop discussion. We’ll stop for a break at 2 and those not enrolled in the course will leave. Enrolled students will continue the discussion with the guest from 2:10 to 3:00.

This is a cross-listed/room-shared course. Law Students enroll through the Law School (Law 210.2A), the Philosophy Department (Philosophy 290-6), or the Political Science Department (PS 211). The first class will meet on Friday, August 24. 

Students enrolled or interested in enrolling should visit the bCourses site:
August 24


Professors: Joshua Cohen
R. Jay Wallace

Introductory meeting
(for enrolled students only)

August 31 Seana Shiffrin
Professor of Philosophy
Pete Kameron Professor of Law and Social Justice
UCLA School of Law



September 7

Jennifer Rothman
Professor of Law
Joseph Scott Fellow
Loyola Law School

September 14 Henry Brady
Dean and Class of 1941 Monroe Deutsch Professor of Political Science and Public Policy
UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy


September 21

Heather Whitney Esq.
PhD candidate
Department of Philosophy
New York University


September 28 Ilya Somin
Professor of Law
Antonin Scalia
Law School

George Mason University


October 5 Robert Post
Sterling Professor of Law
Yale Law School
October 12 Sigal Ben-Porath 
Literacy, Culture, and International Education Division
Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania


October 19


Leslie Kendrick
Vice Dean and
Professor of Law
School of Law
University of Virginia
October 26 T. M. Scanlon
Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity, Emeritus
Department of Philosophy
Harvard University
November 2 Erwin Chemerinsky
Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law
School of Law
UC Berkeley



November 9 Tim Wu
Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher
Professor of Law
Columbia Law School


November 16

Susan Brison
Eunice and Julian Cohen Professor for the Study of Ethics and Human Values Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy


November 30*

Location TBD


(for enrolled students only)

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