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February 6, 2009

Law and Philosophy Program sponsors annual Leon Green, ’15, Lecture in Jurisprudence, February 13, 2009

The Law and Philosophy Program at the University of Texas School of Law is sponsoring this year’s annual Leon Green, ’15, Lecture in Jurisprudence with NYU law and philosophy professor Liam Murphy on Friday, February 13, 2009.

Murphy will deliver the lecture, titled “Where Legal Disagreement Runs Out,” in the Law School’s Sheffield Room (Townes Hall 2.111) from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Murphy is the Herbert Peterfreund Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at NYU as well as the vice dean of NYU Law. He specializes in legal, moral, and political philosophy, and in the application of these inquiries to various branches of the substantive law.

His publications include The Myth of Ownership: Taxes and Justice, coauthored with Thomas Nagel (Oxford, 2002), Moral Demands in Nonideal Theory (Oxford, 2000), “Better to See Law This Way,” 83 NYU Law Review 1088 (2008), and “Concepts of Law,” 30 Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 1 (2005).

John Deigh, a professor at the Law School and in the Philosophy department at the University of Texas will moderate the lecture. Deigh explained that Murphy’s talk will focus on a philosophical debate about the nature of law—specifically, the question of the relation between law and morality. Murphy will argue that different assumptions about the very nature of law can sometimes run so deep that people end up not talking about the same thing and so, in a sense, are not really disagreeing at all.

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 Jules Coleman, John Gardner, Nicola Lacey, Leslie Green, and Hillel Steiner.

Leon Green, who received his LL.B. 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 found in a philosophy of the total social organism of which law is only a phase.” (My Philosophy of the Law 136 [1941]).

Related links:

Liam B. Murphy

John Deigh

Law and Philosophy Program at UT

UT Law Spring Colloquium Calendar

Contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or, or Mike Strong, colloquium coordinator, UT Law, 512-232-1154,