The track Philosophy of Law and Governance of the two-year master Philosophy trains students to reflect philosophically upon the presuppositions and basic features of contemporary Western legal systems. The programme is interdisciplinary. General philosophical courses and specific courses in philosophy of law are combined with a student’s own selection of legal courses. The students of this track usually complete simultaneously a one year master’s degree in Law.
What is a legal system? Under what conditions is law just? Are citizens of modern, liberal welfare states free and equal? Are there any natural rights? Is international law legitimate? Does social justice apply beyond the state? Which understanding of a person underlies bioethical legislation? Do new forms of technology and governance undermine standards of what it is to be an autonomous legal subject? These and many other questions are raised and addressed in the two-year master track Philosophy of Law and Governance.
This master programme is truly interdisciplinary. Students combine courses in philosophy, worth a total of 84 ECTS, with their own selection of courses in law, worth 36 ECTS. The philosophy courses either bring students up to speed on fundamental philosophical discussions (30 ECTS) or are specially designed for this track and concern philosophy of law specifically (54 ECTS).
Why VU Amsterdam?
In the master track, Philosophy of Law and Governance students learn to problematize law philosophically. Already acquired knowledge of law is deepened in a confrontation with philosophical theories and concepts. Students are trained to do philosophical research.
Courses are taught by professors of philosophy from the Faculty of Humanities and by legal theorists and legal philosophers from the Department of Legal Theory of the Faculty of Law. This approach guarantees a unique combination of genuine philosophical training with close analysis of the most fundamental legal problems.
The exclusive character and small scale of this master enables students to profit from intensive contact with professors.
The set-up of this two-year master track allows students to complete simultaneously a one year master’s programme in Law.
Program taught in: