Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory – Fall 2021


Fall Semester 2021

All sessions for Fall 2021 will be held in person and online via Zoom. Students enrolled in the course will be attending the seminar in person in room 141 Law Building. (unless otherwise noted*), Fridays from 12:15 pm-2:00 pm. Papers for upcoming talks are available to download in the table below.  Alternatively, copies of papers may be requested by contacting Rawan Mohsen at

For non-enrolled students, faculty, and visitors from Berkeley Law attendance is either in person or via Zoom. If attending in person, consider bringing your laptop, phone, or tablet in order to be able to log on to Zoom and use the chat.
Outside visitors may join via Zoom at this time. Please note that to attend the meeting on Zoom you must be signed into a Zoom account. For instructions on how to use Zoom follow the link here. The Zoom link to attend this session is here.

The full Fall 2021 workshop schedule is available for download here.

Course description:

This course is a workshop for discussing work-in-progress in moral, political, and legal theory. The central aim is to enable students to engage directly with legal scholars, philosophers, and political theorists working on important normative questions. Another aim is to bring together scholars from different disciplines and perspectives, such as economics, history, sociology, and political science, who have normative interests.

The theme for the Fall 2021 workshop is Rawls’s A Theory of Justice fifty years on.

The format of the course is as follows: for the sessions with guest presenters, a designated student 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 2:00 and those not enrolled in the course will leave. Enrolled students will continue the discussion with the guest until 3:00.

This is a cross-listed/room-shared course with the Philosophy and Political Science Departments. Students may enroll through Law (Law 210.2), Philosophy (Philosophy 290-09), or Political Science (PS 211). The first class will be on Friday, August 20th – 12PM-PM, and the final class meeting is on November 19th.

This semester the workshop is co-taught by Joshua Cohen and Veronique Munoz-Darde


Aug. 20


(Enrolled Students Only)

Professor Joshua Cohen

Professor Veronique Munoz-Darde

Aug. 27

Lara Buchak, Philosophy, Princeton University

Philosophical Foundation for Worst-Case Arguments


Sep. 3

Thomas Piketty, Economics, EHESS & the Paris School of Economics

Elements for a Participatory Socialism for the 21st century

Sep. 10

Samuel Scheffler, Philosophy, New York University

Moral Independence Revisited: A Note on the Development of Rawls’s Thought from 1977-1980 and Beyond


Sep. 17
Samuel Freeman, Philosophy and Law, University of Pennsylvania

Ideal Theory and Racial Justice: On Charles Mills’ Tanner Lecture

Sep. 24

Sarah Song, Law and Political Science, UC Berkeley

Immigrant Legalization: A Dilemma between Inclusion and the Rule of Law?

Oct. 1

Tommie Shelby, Philosophy, Harvard University

Race, Rectification, and Justice as Fairness

Oct. 8

Seana Shiffrin, Philosophy and Law, UCLA Law

Democratic Politics: Duty Delegation without Abdication

Oct. 15

T. M. Scanlon, Philosophy, Harvard University

Testimony of An Incomplete Rawlsian


Oct. 22

Arthur Ripstein, Law and Philosophy, University of Toronto

Private Order and Public Justice: Kant and Rawls

Oct. 29

Teresa Bejan, Political Theory, University of Oxford

Peers and Equals

Nov. 5

Erin Kelly, Philosophy, Tufts University 

 Accountability in Criminal Justice: Lessons from Rawls

Nov. 12

Josh Cohen, Philosophy, UC Berkeley

The Fragility of Democracy

Nov. 19

Kenzie Bok, Social Studies, Harvard University

Rawlsian Liberalism: Freedom After Gracea