00385 - Philosophy of Law

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Silvia Vida

  • Credits 9

  • SSD IUS/20

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Law (cod. 9233)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Gender equality Reduced inequalities Climate Action Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Students will be introduced to a critical study of the main issues in the contemporary legal-philosohical thinking, in particular concerning the notion of validity, justice, legal norms, legal order, legal interpretation and argumentation.

Course contents

Topics covered: Law and morality; natural law doctrine; legal positivism; legal realism; constitutionalism; rule of law; legal language; legal norms; legal systems; legal interpretation ad argumentation.


Attending and non-attending Students:


1. M. Barberis, Una filosofia del diritto per lo stato costituzionale, Giappichelli, Torino 2017.

2. H. Kelsen, Lineamenti di dottrina pura del diritto, Einaudi, Torino 2000.

3. H. Hart, Il concetto di diritto, Einaudi, Torino 2002.


Erasmus Students:

1) H. Hart, The Concept of Law, 2nd ed. with a Postscript, Clarendon 1994.

2) R. Alexy, Begriff und Geltung des Rechts, Alber 1992.




Teaching methods

The course's format will consist in reading and commenting selected texts in class, and it may also have seminars. Lectures will be held in Ravenna during the first semester.

 The course consists of 30 2-hour lectures. In each lesson, a topic is introduced by the lecturer and then discussed with the students' active participation, the aim being to involve the students as much as possible in the development and critical assessment of the argument.

Assessment methods

There will be an oral final exam that students can take starting January 2022.

The exams aims to ascertain the skills acquired by the candidate and assess the degree of fulfillment of the objectives of the course, in particular with regard to the ability to critically appraise and independently elaborate on the topics covered by the course.


Very limited knowledge of relevant topics; analytical skills emerging only with the teacher's help; sufficient grasp of specialized language → 18-19.
Limited knowledge of relevant topics; limited analytical skills; satisfactory grasp of specialized language → 20-24.
Good knowledge of relevant topics; above-average analytical skills; mastery of specialized language → 25-29.
Excellent knowledge of relevant topics; outstanding analytical skills; full mastery of specialized language → 30-30L.


Students who wish to prepare a dissertation on the topics covered by the course are requested to 1) contact the lecturer at least 7 months before the defence, and 2) consult the list of dissertation already assigned appearing in the "Thesis" section of the lecturer's website.

Teaching tools

Selected texts will be read and commented. The Students' understanding of course contents will be assessed as the course progresses. There may be seminars organized for the Students.

Office hours

See the website of Silvia Vida