Philosophy of Law and the State - 2nd semester


The main focus of the course is the origin and the philosophical and juridical foundation of the State. The students will discuss and analyze the origin of the State from different perspectives (political, legal, anthropological, historical). The goal is combining these perspective and clarifying crucial concepts such as individual, person, community, society. Two main dichotomies will be helpful in understanding the theoretical framework: individualism / institutionalism, contractualism / conventionalism.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Giovanni Damele


Weekly - 3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Not applicable


Hobbes, T. (1651). Leviatã, qualquer edição
Locke, J. (1690). Dois Tratados sobre o Governo, qualquer edição
Nozick, R. (1974). Anarquia, estado, utopia, Edições 70 (2009)
Tönnies, F. (1887). Community and Civil Society, Cambridge University Press (2005)
Weber, M. (1922). Conceitos Sociológicos Fundamentais. Edições 70 (2005)

Bibliografia secundária (em conformidade com os interesses de cada aluno)
Clastres, P. (1974) Society against the State (La Société contre l´État. Recherches d´anthropologie politique).
Defoe, D. (1719). Robinson Crusoe, qualquer edição
Diamond, J. (2012) The World until Yesterday. London: Penguin
Douglas, M. (1986) How Institutions Think, Routledge, (2012)
Freud, S. (2009). Civilization and its discontent, qualquer edição
Golding, W. (1954). Lord of the flies, qualquer edição

Outro material bibliográfico será disponibilizado durante o curso, quando possível em versão portuguesa.

Teaching method

Two main activities are developed in the course. During the first part of the course, there is an explanation of theoretical content, that will be followed by the presentation of questions by the students and a wide debate on the previously presented issues. In the second part of the class, there will be room for reading, interpretation and analysis of the texts on which the presented contents were based. A secondary bibliography will permit to discuss the course main theme from a multidisciplinary point of view.
In class teaching

Evaluation method

The evaluation is chiefly focused on the elaboration of a paper that shall be previously proposed to and supervised by the lecturer (80%). Attendance and participation in class are also taken into account (20%).

Subject matter

1. Fundamental concepts: individual, community, society
2. The origin of the institutions (contractualism, institutionalism)
3. The origin of State and society
4. The evolution of the State: politic, economy, law
5. The evolution of the State: private and public sphere, civil society, public institutions
6. A dichotomy: individual vs. community