There are three required courses for students enrolled in the Program in Political Philosopy, Politics and Law:

PPL 2010 – Morality, Law and the State

(offered during the fall semester)

The importance of moral philosophy to the study of the legal and political institutions of the modern state. In addition to exploring the nature of morality and moral reasoning, the course deals with basic questions about the concept of law and the justification of the state. Possible topics include inalienable rights, distributive justice, civil disobedience, secession, and the priority of liberty. (Y)

PPL 4010 – Research Seminar

(offered during the spring semester)

This seminar, designed to facilitate the production and collective evaluation of 35-page research papers, is taught annually by the Director of the PPL Program and/or members of the Committee on Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law. (Y)

Prerequisites & Notes
Prerequisite: Fourth-year PPL major.

Credits: 3

PPL 3999 – Philosophical Perspectives on Liberty

(offered during occasional spring semesters - check course catalog for availability)

How should we understand the ideal of a 'free society'?  This course explores a number of classic contemporary and historical answers to this question, with particular reference to the critical assessment of modern commercial society.

PLPT 4500 – Law and Political Thought – Punishment

Law "on the books" is not the same as law "in action." This course introduces students to the complex role law plays in society through the issue of punishment. We'll discuss both court cases and case-studies, focusing on the eighth amendment, and those discussions will be enriched by reading an eclectic mix of social and political thinkers.  

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at