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Law and Ethics Program

The Law and Ethics Program is a collaboration between the Law School and U-M's Department of Philosophy. It aims to promote advanced research and teaching at the intersection of law and ethics. The program's main activities include:

  • An annual Law and Ethics Lecture

  • A law and philosophy reading group, for faculty and students in both departments

  • Support for students seeking joint degrees in law and philosophy

  • Workshops and conferences with leading legal theorists from around the world.


Scott Hershovitz (law and philosophy)

Elizabeth Anderson (philosophy)
Sarah Buss (philosophy)
Bruce Frier (law)
Allan Gibbard (philosophy)
Daniel Halberstam (law)
Don Herzog (law)
Daniel Jacobson (philosophy)
Ishani Maitra (philosophy)
Gabe Mendlow (law and philosophy)
Leonard Niehoff (law)
Richard Primus (law)
Peter Railton (philosophy)
Margaret Jane Radin (law)
Steve Ratner (law)
Don Regan (law)

Law and Ethics Lecture

"Goodness Grotius!"
A story of pirates, prizes, and a 20-year-old lawyer who reworked the foundations of political theory and changed the way the world looked at war.

Monday, Oct. 28, 2013
4-6 p.m.
Hutchins Hall Room 220
Reception immediately following the event

Scott J. Shapiro, Charles F. Southmayd Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, Yale Law School

Monica Hakimi, associate dean for academic programming and professor of law, and Edwin Curley, U-M emeritus professor of philosophy

Scott Shapiro, Yale Law SchoolPerhaps the most ridiculed treaty of the last several centuries is the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928. This treaty, which was signed by virtually every nation that existed at the time, did something simple and audacious: It outlawed war. But the very idea that states could outlaw war by means of a piece of paper is usually taken as a sign of the naive idealism that has discredited international law for so many. Prof. Shapiro takes issue with this skeptical view by arguing that the Kellogg-Briand Pact inaugurated a revolution in our thinking about war. The treaty has, in fact, been so successful that we no longer remember the world before it, when war was a well-established legal institution and, thus, a legitimate method for enforcing rights and resolving disputes. Prof. Shapiro attempts to recover this once dominant but now-forgotten conception of war by returning to its first formulation by Hugo Grotius and the strange confluence of events that led to its creation.

Book Chapter: Read more about Hugo Grotius in Prof. Shapiro's book A Law of the World.

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