After having explored the history of this legal concept (from the ancient world through modernity, until the emergence of human rights), the course will take a more practical dimension. The contemporary relevance of natural law will be critically assessed by examining a series of epistemic figures which drastically question the legal implications derived from the very idea of (human) nature: the animal, the stranger, the woman, the worker, the rebel, the double, and the monster. In particular, the analysis of these figures will allow to question the model of the rational, free and autonomous (legal) subject. The analysis of the issues raised by these marginal, if not marginalized figures, will enable students to develop critical thinking on various legal issues marked by a strong axiological dimension.
At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :
After having successfully completed the course the student is expected to be able to:
- Discriminate between different types of arguments (empirical, ontological, normative, etc.).
- Master the core categories of natural law, its conceptual tools and its key theories
- Apply these theories to concrete cases
- Demonstrate autonomy in the way of thinking
- Articulate thoughts effectively in written form and orally.
By examining a series of marginal “epistemic figures” (if not marginalized in some cases), the course will critically question the concept of legal subject. In particular, it will address the legal implications derived from the very idea of (human) nature, by investigating the following figures: the animal, the robot, the refugee, the woman, the worker, the monster, the double and the rebel. The analysis of these figures will enable students to reflect about law’s “logic of instauration”, i. e. its capacity to reinforce (or reduce) the reality of beings through the process of their legal acknowledgement.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.The teaching method of the course will be highly interactive. The course is designed to foster active participation of students based on compulsory readings, shorts individual comments on the readings and one obligatory group presentation during the semester. The link to the course materials is to be found on Moodle along with a detailed bibliography for each theme analyzed during the class.
The course is also designed to familiarize students with interdisciplinary approaches to law. Therefore, the students need to engage with the literature of various social sciences disciplines including philosophy, ethics, sociology or anthropology. The link to the course materials is to be found on Moodle.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.Course with continuous assessment.
The final evaluation will take into account:
- The completion of the reading assignments and short feedback comments: 20%
- The oral presentation made in class and based of the compulsory readings: 20%
- At the end of the semester, the oral exam based on a reflection proposed by the student about one of the figures examined in class + an open question asked by the professor: 60%