Introduction to Law in Literature and Philosophy

19 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2016

See all articles by Joseph P. Tomain

Joseph P. Tomain

University of Cincinnati - College of Law

Date Written: October 18, 2016


As the title indicates, this is an Introductory Memorandum for a course entitled: Law In Literature and Philosophy. The memorandum begins to explore the themes of the course more particularly it explores the relationships between and among law, literature, and philosophy by posing questions such as: Is the intersection of law and literature limited to stories about law and methods of interpretation? Or is law and literature a movement to reclaim law as part of the humanities rather than as a social science such as economics as Judge Posner questions? Or, does literature, as Professor Martha Nussbaum has written, help us refine our capacities for critical examination of our tradition, seeing ourselves as global citizens, and developing a narrative imagination? What is the relationship of philosophy and literature? Are both truth-seeking and truth-revealing as philosopher-novelist Iris Murdoch has argued? Law in Literature and Philosophy engages us in the imaginative power of the art of words. We approach this course as a “Great Books” course in the Western Tradition and invite your participation in the Great Conversation of that Tradition.

Keywords: law, philosophy, literature, great books, humanities

JEL Classification: K1

Suggested Citation

Tomain, Joseph P., Introduction to Law in Literature and Philosophy (October 18, 2016). U of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 16-14, Available at SSRN: or

Joseph P. Tomain (Contact Author)

University of Cincinnati - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210040
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0040
United States
513-556-6805 (Phone)
513-556-6265 (Fax)

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