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Fall 2011

Lecturer: Dr. Yiğit Sayın

Office: SOS 227


Phone No: Ext 1856

Course Schedule: Tuesdays, Thursdays: 11.00-12.15


Prerequisite: None

Course Credits: 3

Course Language: English


This course aims to be an introduction to some basic issues in the philosophy of law. However instead of directly dwelling on those issues, course participants will first become familiar with the science of philosophy by studying the basics of the discipline. Accordingly, the first part of the course will serve as the participants’ familiarization period to the basic concepts of philosophy as a science whereas the latter part will be on the relation between philosophy and law.


The first objective of the course is to give the participants a general knowledge of philosophy in historical context. In order to fulfill this objective I will try to introduce the participants to some basic concepts of philosophy during the early part of the course. On the other hand, the foremost objective of this course is to provide an academic opportunity for the participants to freely think, comment, debate and resolve on any given issue. Therefore, the second part of the course will be more like a critical legal study so I anticipate that this segment of the course will be organized around lectures. Although the starting point for each lecture will be the subject/paradox/dilemma I select for the day amongst the designated topics, I also expect a steady stream of participation whether as a result of lecture interruptions or criticisms of texts, cases, theories or actual happenings.

EXAMS AND EVALUATION (Out of 100 Points)

Mid-Term: 30 points

Participation: 30 points (attendance included)

Final: 40 points


Students are strongly encouraged to consult the course instructor for any questions in anytime by email or by dropping in during the designated office hours


Course participants, who miss the exams and are willing to take a make-up exam instead, are expected to either submit a doctor report as regards with the health condition that prevented them from taking part in the exam or provide a serious and real excuse of personal nature.


It is strongly recommended that all participants attend the lectures. However their attendance will not be followed on a regular basis and their failure to amass a regular attendance will not be recorded in the KUAIS. It is important to note here that the attendance of the participants will be a positive factor in the evaluation by the lecturer which means that failure to attend will be held against the participant while the display of regular attendance will definitely be taken into consideration during the grading process. For more information on this, see the following participation section.


In order to provide an incentive for attendance and participation; regular attendance, classroom activity and participation during the whole term will result to a 10 point share for the course participants. Participants that fail to attend on a regular fashion will nonetheless be deprived from this share and be graded out of 90 points instead of 100.


  • Introduction to Philosophy- Main Concepts

  • Law: Its Origin, Nature and Function

  • Some Fundemental Legal Concepts

Rights and Duties

The Classification of Legal Rights

Legal Personality

Ownerswhip and Possesion

  • Some Insights to the Philosophical Schools Throughout History

Ancient Greek Philosophy


The Atomists

The Epicureanists

John Austin and Analytic Pozitivism

1492 Conquest of the New World: A New Dawn for Modern Ideas (The Golden Age of Spain)

  • Modern Tendencies in the Philosophy of Law

Natural Law and What It Does (or does not) Stand For

Hans Kelsen

The Marxist Concept of Law


H.L.A Hart

Ronald Dworkin

John Rawls and his ‘Theory of Justice’

  • A New Dawn of A New Era: The 21st Century and the Future of Law

New Problems of the New Era

Legal Rules & The State: Whither the law as we know it?

Individuality vs Law: A winnable war?


Here is a list of supplemental readings for the course participants. There will also be a number of hand-outs on various topics which will be given out by the lecturer. These hand-outs will be provided to the participants one week before covering the correspondent topic therefore it is expected from the participants to do their designated readings before the lectures.

G.W. Keeton: The Elementary Principles of Jurisprudence (1949).

John Rawls: A Theory of Justice, Harvard University Press (2005).

H.L.A Hart: The Concept of Law, Clarendon Press (1997).

Montesquie: The Spirit of Laws, Cambridge University Press (2002).

Alaeddin Şenel: Eski Yunanda Siyasal Düşünüş,Ankara Üniversitesi Yayınları (1968)

Adnan Güriz: Teorik olarak Mülkiyet Sorunu, Ankara Üniversitesi yayınları (1969).

Aristo: Politika (trans. Mete Tunçay), Remzi Kitapevi (1993).

Platon: Devlet (trans. Erhan Bayram), Metropol Yayınları (2008).

Ernest E. Hirsch: Hukuk Felsefesi ve Hukuk Sosyolojisi Dersleri, Bankacılık ve Ticaret Hukuku Araştırmaları Enstitüsü (2001).

Adnan Güriz: Hukuk Felsefesi (2009).

Vecdi Aral: Hukuk Felsefesinin Temel Sorunları (2007).

Vecdi Aral: Hukuk ve Hukuk Bilimi Üzerine (2001).

Mehmet Tevfik Özcan: Modern Toplum ve Hukuk Devleti, XII Levha Yayınları (2008).

Yıldırım Torun: Ronald Dworkin’in Hukuk ve Siyaset Felsefesinde Adalet, Eşitlik ve Özgürlük Sorunu, Savaş Yayınları (2008).

Karl Marx & Frederick Engels: The Communist Manifest, Penguin Classics (2005)

Karl Marx: Das Kapital

Ayşen Furtun: John Austin’in Hukuk ve Devlet Teorisi, Seçkin Yayıncılık (1997)

Orhan Münir Çağıl: Hukuk Başlangıcı Dersleri, İÜ Yayınları (1963).

J.J. Rosseau: Social Contract (trans. GDH Cole), Cosmo Press (2008).

Cemal Bali Akal: Modern Düşüncenin Doğuşu, Dost Yayınları (2003).

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