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Philosophy of a Specific Discipline: Philosophy of Law

Philosophy of Law is a specialisation of the MA programme in Philosophy of a Specific Discipline. The two-year Master’s programme in Philosophy of a Specific Discipline is intended for students in a particular academic discipline who are interested in the philosophical foundations and methodological aspects of that discipline.

For information about the objectives and general structure of the programme, the MA thesis and the requirements for graduation, please see the website of the MA in Philosophy of Specific Discipline. For a brief description of this specialisation click on ‘Informatie’ above.

Structure of the programme

First Year

  • 10 EC / MA course in Philosophy

  • 10 EC / MA course in Philosophy

  • 10 EC / Specialist MA course in Philosophy of Law

  • 30 EC / MA courses in Law

Second Year

  • 10 EC / Specialist MA course in Philosophy of Law

  • 10 EC / MA courses in Law

  • 10 EC / Literature Study in the area of the MA thesis

  • 30 EC / MA thesis

First Year / Second Year

The following MA courses in Philosophy and specialist MA courses in Philosophy of Law are on offer in 2010-2011:

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Specialist courses in Philosophy of Law

Philosophy of Law I 10
Filosofie van het internationale recht 10

MA courses in Philosophy

The Vienna Circle and Logical Positivism 10
The Problem of Objectivity in History 10
Science and Humanities in the Ancient Philosophical Curriculum 10
Filosofie en literatuur II (PAC) 10
Rechtvaardigheid en macht: 16e-eeuwse politieke theorieën 10
Reasonable Disagreement 10
Nietzsche and Politics (EP) 10
Wijsgerige antropologie III 10
De revolutie in de kunst 10
Scientific Revolution 10
Language and the Mind 10
Filosofie, psychiatrie en neurowetenschappen 10
Contemporary Utilitarianism 10
Philosophy of Mind and Action 10
Wijsgerige antropologie IV 10
Wikisofie 10

Meer info


Law is a peculiar institution in modern societies. It permeates all areas of life and guides our everyday interactions in all sorts of ways. But what is law actually? What makes certain rules law and others not? And what makes something into a rule anyway? Should we identify law as codified law or can we find law in other places as well? What is the proper method for finding law? What sorts of reasoning do legal practitioners use when they seek to apply the law to a case?

In addition to these analytical questions there are the big normative questions about good law. What is the rule of law? Why is it so desirable? Are there limits as to what the law can demand from us? Do we have a (moral) duty to obey the law? What does justice require from the law? These and other questions come up in one form or other in the specialisation Philosophy of Law.

Specialisation co-ordinator

Dr. B.J.E. (Bruno) Verbeek