Law and Philosophy Faculty

Brian Leiter is best-known for his philosophical reconstruction and defense of the jurisprudence of American Legal Realism and his exploration of the implications of the naturalistic turn in philosophy for the problems of general jurisprudence. Many of his important papers on these topics are collected in Naturalizing Jurisprudence (Oxford, 2007). He is also a leading Nietzsche scholar, with a particular interest in Nietzsche’s moral philosophy, and is responsible, with his Nietzsche on Morality (Routledge, 2002), for the renewed scholarly interest in the idea that Nietzsche is a philosophical naturalist. His other published papers treat such topics as the objectivity of morality, legal positivism, religious toleration, the epistemology of evidence law, the intersection of moral and empirical psychology, and aspects of the philosophies of Marx and Foucault.. He was editor for seven years of the journal Legal Theory and is now editor, with Mr. Green, of Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Law.

Martha C. Nussbaum has made seminal contributions to the study of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy (especially Aristotle and the Stoics), central problems in political philosophy (especially developing the Capabilities Approach to human well-being and reassessing and expanding the Rawlsian theory of justice), the defense of cosmopolitanism as a moral, political, and pedagogical ideal, the philosophy of the emotions, and the study of literature as a source of moral knowledge. Her many books include Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership (Harvard, 2006), Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law (Princeton, 2004), Upheavals of Thoughts: The Intelligence of Emotions (Cambridge, 2001), Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach (Cambridge, 2000), Sex and Social Justice (Oxford, 1999), The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Greek Ethics (Princeton, 1994), Love’s Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature (Oxford, 1990), and The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy (Cambridge, 1986). All of her work has been deeply engaged with major figures in the history of philosophy, including not only the major Greek and Roman philosophers, but also, in the modern era, especially Kant and Mill. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

David A. Strauss has been a leading contributor to constitutional law and theory for more than twenty years, with a particular interest in philosophical problems that arise in interpreting and applying the U.S. Constitution. His many influential articles include “Legitimacy and Obedience” (Harvard Law Review, 2005), “Common Law, Common Ground, and Jefferson’s Principles” (Yale Law Journal, 2003), “Constitutions, Written and Unwritten” (Law and Philosophy, 2001), “What Is Constitutional Theory?” (California Law Review, 1999), “Principle and Its Perils” (University of Chicago Law Review, 1997), “Common Law Constitutional Interpretation” (University of Chicago Law Review, 1996), and “Persuasion, Autonomy, and Freedom of Expression” (Columbia Law Review, 1991). He is, with Geoffrey Stone and Dennis Hutchinson, editor of the Supreme Court Review. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Each year the Law School also hosts a “Law and Philosophy Fellow,” a recent Ph.D. in philosophy with legal interests, who is an active participant in the intellectual and curricular offerings related to law and philosophy at the Law School. The first Law and Philosophy Fellow was Scott Anderson (Ph.D., University of Chicago), Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. The Law and Philosophy Fellow for 2008-09 is James Staihar (J.D., Harvard University; Ph.D., University of Michigan), who works in philosophy of criminal law, general jurisprudence, and bioethics, among other areas.

Many other members of the law faculty have interests in philosophical aspects of law, including Richard A. Epstein, Lee Anne Fennell, Richard McAdams, Eric Posner, Richard Posner, and David Weisbach.