Prerequisites: RCC*. A survey of historical and modern Western attempts to define the essence of law. Course topics may include both the secular and non-secular natural law traditions, including representative writings from the ancient, classical and modern eras, and the various theses of legal positivism, including English utilitarianism, analytical jurisprudence, legal science, sociological jurisprudence and American Legal Realism, post-Realism, critical legal studies, and modern rights theory. The course does not presuppose a background in philosophy. Satisfies perspective elective requirement.