BIOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF LAW - YEARLONG
(LAWH-4035) - 4 UNITS
Jurisprudence has long been mired in subjective belief systems, propounded by long dead philosophers and thinkers, that have no foundation in the natural sciences. This course pursues a relatively novel approach to jurisprudence: the idea that law is a characteristic of human social behavior, and that like other such behaviors has it's roots in evolution by natural selection. This course thus departs from all other major theories of law in that the approach to jurisprudence it considers challenges the foundational belief that at bottom there is a meaningful difference between empirical biological fact and normative thought. Instead, the law's procedural and substantive content, as well as a human propensity toward law following may reflect human adaptation to historical environments - including the part of the environment comprised of other humans. A biological approach to law holds the promise of possibly placing jurisprudence on a rigorous and empirically verified theoretical foundation that has broad explanatory power, and one that is perhaps capable of intellectually unifying existing jurisprudential thinking.