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Harvard Initiative on Law and Philosophy

Working at the intersection of law and philosophy, Harvard University has been home, for more than a century, to some of the greatest theorists in the history of the American Academy. In the Spring of 2011, under the guidance of Martha Minow, Dean of the Law School, and Sean Kelly, Chairman of the Philosophy Department, a group of faculty from the Law School and the Philosophy Department met to discuss ways in which collaboration among those interested in law and philosophy topics could be enhanced. This Initiative was among the several resolutions that have been implemented as a result of feedback from that meeting. Check here frequently for upcoming events relating to law and philosophy at Harvard. 


Featured Events and Programs

Law and Philosophy Colloquium 

On Wednesday, April 24, Seana Shiffrin (Pete Kameron Professor of Law and Social Justice and Professor of Philosophy at UCLA) will present her paper “Lying and the Law” at the Law and Philosophy Colloquium in Room 104 Hauser Hall (at the Law School) at 5 p.m.  Although Professor Shiffrin will begin with a brief summary to refresh recollections, discussion will proceed on the assumption that those in attendance have read the paper (access to the paper requires a Harvard University PIN).


The New England Consequentialism Workshop

The New England Consequentialism Workshop (NECW) provides a forum for discussing works-in-progress in normative ethics, understood broadly to include, e.g. political philosophy and bioethics. Past presenters have included Shelly Kagan, Jeff McMahan, Debra Satz, Tim Scanlon and others. Workshop participants come from Harvard, other Boston-area institutions, and New England at large. To see details from previous meetings of the NECW, please visit the NECW archives.
NECW is hosted and funded by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. It was founded and continues to be coordinated by Nir Eyal of Harvard University Program in Ethics and Health and Harvard Medical School Division of Medical Ethics. If you would like to participate or join the mailing list, please contact Joe Hollow (joe@ethics.harvard.edu) at the Center for Ethics.
The NECW meetings take place from 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM in the seminar room at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics (124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 520N) in Cambridge.

February 13, 2013: I. Glenn Cohen
"Rationing Legal Services"

March 13, 2013: Toby Ord
"Moral Trade"

April 3, 2013: Jennifer Hawkins
"Well-Being, Time, and Dementia"

May 8, 2013: Sarah Conly
"One Child: Do We Really Have a Right to More?"


About the Initiative: Law and Philosophy Across Harvard University

Working at the intersection of law and philosophy, Harvard University has been home, for more than a century, to some of the greatest theorists in the history of the American Academy. Among its many luminaries have been Ronald Dworkin, Charles Fried, Lon Fuller, H.L.A. Hart (as visitor), Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Frank Michelman, Robert Nozick, Roscoe Pound, John Rawls, Michael Sandel, Tim Scanlon, Amartya Sen, Cass Sunstein, and Laurence Tribe.  Although most of those mentioned were housed either in the Law School or the Philosophy Department, in more recent years the faculty doing first-rate work at the intersection of philosophy and law have been increasingly represented in other departments or schools at Harvard, including the Kennedy School of Government and the Departments of Government, Psychology, and Economics.

In the Spring of 2011, under the guidance of Martha Minow, Dean of the Law School, and Sean Kelly, Chairman of the Philosophy Department, a group of faculty from the Law School and the Philosophy Department met to discuss ways in which collaboration among those interested in law and philosophy topics could be enhanced. This Initiative was among the several resolutions that have been implemented as a result of feedback from that meeting. There is also information on the recently revamped Harvard University joint law degree-philosophy-Ph.D. program, and a link to the Harvard Philosophy Department site, itself a rich source of information that will often be relevant to the intersection of law and philosophy. 

Last modified: October 01, 2013

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