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Law and Philosophy Program sponsors annual Leon Green, ’15, Lecture in Jurisprudence, March 25, 2011

The Law and Philosophy Program’s annual Leon Green, ’15, Lecture in Jurisprudence will take place on Friday, March 25, 2011. This year’s lecture will be given by Professor Brian Leiter of the University of Chicago Law School. The lecture will take place on Friday, March 25, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., in the Brian L. and Michelle P. Goolsby Conference Suite (Stephen D. Susman Academic Center room 5.206). The title of Leiter’s lecture is “The Law of Religious Liberty in a Tolerant Society.” 

Brian Leiter was a professor at UT Law for more than a dozen years before joining the University of Chicago Law School faculty in 2008. He founded that school’s Center for Law, Philosophy & Human Values. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Yale Law School, University College London, and the University of Paris X-Nanterre, and will be Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University for portions of the 2011–2012 academic year.

His teaching and research interests are in general jurisprudence (including its intersection with issues in metaphysics and epistemology); moral and political philosophy (in both Anglophone and Continental traditions); and the law of evidence. His books include Objectivity in Law and Morals  (editor); Nietzsche on Morality; The Future for Philosophy (editor); and Naturalizing Jurisprudence:  Essays on American Legal Realism and Naturalism in Legal Philosophy. He is currently writing a book titled Why Tolerate Religion?  and working on projects in moral psychology and meta-ethics (often in relation to Nietzsche); “realism” as a theme in political and legal theory; and a defense and elaboration of arguments from his 2007 book for a special symposium issue of the journal Law & Philosophy devoted to his work.

Leiter was editor of the journal Legal Theory from 2000 to 2008, and is the founding editor of the Routledge Philosophers book series and of Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Law, which will appear annually starting in 2011.

The first annual Leon Green lecture was delivered by Stephen R. Perry, the John J. O’Brien Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, in March 2002. Past Green lecturers include Kent Greenawalt, Liam Murphy, Jules Coleman, John Gardner, Nicola Lacey, Leslie Green, and Hillel Steiner.

Leon Green, who received his LLB from the University of Texas School of Law in 1915, was one of the twentieth century’s most important tort scholars and a leading figure in American legal realism. Green taught at the University of Texas (1915–1918, 1921–1926, and 1947–1977), and Yale University (1927–1929). In addition, he served as dean at the University of North Carolina (1926–1927) and Northwestern University (1929–1947) law schools.

Three of Green’s students received appointments to the United States Supreme Court: John Paul Stevens and Arthur Goldberg from Northwestern University, and Thomas Campbell Clark from the University of Texas.

Among Green’s many important works are Rationale of Proximate Cause (1927), Judge and Jury (1930), The Judicial Process in Tort Cases (1931), and My Philosophy of the Law (1941). The Tarlton Law Library at the UT School of Law maintains the Leon Green Papers, which include correspondence, literary productions, speeches, printed material, and law school administrative and teaching material. Most of the collection reflects Green’s activities as an educator and legal scholar.

The annual Leon Green Lecture in Jurisprudence ranges widely over issues of jurisprudential significance, reflecting Green’s view that, “Any satisfying philosophy of law must…be found in a philosophy of the total social organism of which law is only a phase.” (My Philosophy of the Law 136 [1941]).

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