Good and Evil in Art and Law

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON, TUE, WED, THU, FRI 11:30 am - 12:20 pm TNH 2.139

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location
Final October 14, 2011 2:00 pm - 4:20 pm A-Z in 2.139


The course will examine the ways art (mainly literature, but also music and pictorial art) law deal in their own distinct but overlapping ways with the notions of good and evil. It adopts a relativistic approach, arguing that what is good or evil can change depending upon the angle - political, moral, religious, aesthetic - one chooses to adopt when examining these notions. Attention is also paid to the fact that they can also mutate with the passage of time - so what was once bad may become acceptable or even good. Though law is secreted in almost all works of literature, the way artists and writers deal with legal issues is unlikely to influence legal reasoning. But the study of literature does enhance human imagination, broadens one's general culture, and can enrich the ways lawyers will deal with humans and the problems they create and encounter in their lives. The book fits in the contemporary genre of "law and literature", nowadays taught increasingly in American Law Schools and Liberal Arts Departments. By being focused on these two notions - cardinal to both disciplines - the book also represents the first, specific, comparative, and scholarly attempt to study in logical juxtaposition the way these two disciplines deal with these notions. The discussions will be accompanied by the playing of music and the showing of pictures and DVD selected extracts from programs dealing with related subjects. Good and Evil in Art and Law (2007) will be the prescribed book which will be available at a special discount price from Ms. Dottie Lee in Room JON 5.277. Otherwise, they can be purchased at the Co-op East for full retail price. (Optional reading can be found in Sir Basil's latest book The Duality of Genius [2009], also available for purchase at a discount through Ms. Lee.)