Philosophy of Law

1. What version of the social contract (i.e., actual, tacit, or hypothetical) in favor of the duty to obey the law (DOL) could the following Calvin & Hobbes comic strip illustrate and why? What objections to such a social contract could the cartoon illustrate and how so?2. What does it mean to have a pro tanto duty to obey the law and why does it make it possible to justify civil disobedience? Would John Rawls consider violent resistance to the law a form of justifiable civil disobedience? Why?3. Answer one, and only one, of the following two questions (A or B but not both)A) What element of the crime of “unauthorized use of property” does the Necessity Defense (as a justification) recognize as missing, actus reus, mens rea, result, or attendant circumstances, and why? What are two Utilitarian arguments in favor of making the Necessity Defense available for unauthorized use of property?B) As the saying goes, “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” which means that a “mistake of law” is typically not available as an excuse defense against a charged crime. In what ways could this rule satisfy the Principle of Utility (i.e., maximize net utility or minimize net disutility)?4. Answer one, and only one, of the following two questions (A or B but not both):A) Explain why retributivist theories of punishment should not be confused with the lex talionis, according to Jeffrey Brand. For Brand, what issues are there with the lex talionis?B) Write a paragraph about any of the topics on my two last PowerPoint lectures (duty to obey the law, civil disobedience, criminal law, defenses, and punishment theories) that is reasonably relevant to your Final Paper. (*Note: If it is indeed reasonably relevant to your Final Paper topic, you may actually make it a part of your submitted Final Paper, as long as you only use class sources in it).


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