Lisa Van Alstyne

Lisa Van Alstyne
Lecturer in Philosophy
PhD Candidate, University of Pittsburgh
Teaching at UChicago since 2018
Research Interests: Philosophy of Law, History of Legal Theory, Political Philosophy

Lisa Van Alstyne has broad interests in contemporary philosophy and the history of philosophy. Her primary research focus is in the philosophy of law, especially in the following three areas: the philosophy of tort law, the nature of constitutional interpretation, and fundamental issues in the theory of jurisprudence. She also has research interests in the history of legal theory, with a special emphasis on Aristotle’s account of the varieties of justice and Kant’s doctrine of right. Beyond the philosophy of law, she works on topics in Rawlsian and post-Rawlsian political philosophy, as well as in contemporary feminist theory. She has additional teaching interests in the philosophy of religion, the history of ethics, as well as in a variety of topics in contemporary moral philosophy that border on the philosophy of law.

Selected Publications

Theory, Interpretation, and Law: Some Worries about Dworkin’s Account of Their Relation,” Philosophical Topics 44, no. 1 (Spring 2016)

The Autonomy of Legal Norms,” in Essays on Action, Truth, and Other Things, ed. Krister Segerberg and Rysiek Sliwinski (Uppsala University Press, 2003)

Aristotle’s Alleged Ethical Obscurantism,” Philosophy 73 (1998): 429-52

Recent Courses

PHIL 21203 Introduction to Philosophy of Law

This course will be an introduction to the philosophy of law.  The first third will cover some historical classics: Plato's Crito, and selections from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Kant's Doctrine of Right, Hegel's Outline of the Philosophy of Right, and Austin's The Province of Jurisprudence Determined.  The second third of the course will cover some classics of postwar Anglo-American jurisprudence, including selections from H.L.A. Hart, Ronald Dworkin, Richard Posner, and Ernest Weinrib.  The final third of the course will explore in a little further detail philosophical problems that arise in the following areas: the philosophy of tort law, theories of constitutional interpretation, and feminist jurisprudence.

2018-2019 Spring
Philosophy of Law