Academics

BLS 362: Vice, Crime, & American Law

Morality and law often overlap. When this intersection occurs, a class of law targeting “vice” is created. This course examines a variety of philosophical concepts and issues focused on the connection of morality to American law. Theoretical questions include: What is the relationship between law and morality? What is the nature, scope, and limits of the law? What is a vice? What constitutes a crime? These theoretical questions in turn aid a survey of issues in American law including: gambling, prostitution, drug use, hate speech, pornography and gay marriage. Each issue will involve a historical, legal, and ethical component. After considering these issues, we conclude the course by looking at society’s justifications for punishment and the death penalty.

Textbooks

  • All required readings are online.