Dr. Lefkowitz’s research interests span three overlapping areas: (1) the morality of obedience and disobedience to law (e.g. the basis, if any, of a moral duty to obey the law, the moral justifiability of civil disobedience, the just treatment of conscientious objectors); (2) analytical and normative issues in international law (e.g. the nature of customary international law, the legitimacy of international law, the existence (or not) of an international rule of law and its implications); and (3) substantive moral questions in the conduct of international affairs (e.g. the morality of secession, the just conduct of war).
From Fall 2009 through Spring 2015 Dr. Lefkowitz served as the founding coordinator of the Program in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law (PPEL), an interdisciplinary major with a focus on normative questions of law and public policy. During the 2016-2017 academic year Dr. Lefkowitz will be a visiting research fellow at the U.S. Naval Academy’s Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership and an Isaac Manasseh Meyer Visiting Fellow at the National University of Singapore.
National Endowment for the Humanities
With the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, I spent the summer and early fall of 2011 enhancing a course on the Philosophy of Crime and Punishment that I have taught for several years. As I wrote in my application for an NEH Teaching Development Fellowship, the value of this course lies not only in its consideration of pressing moral questions regarding the justification of punishment and various features of the general part of the criminal law, but also in its use of concrete examples from the criminal law to introduce students to abstract philosophical questions concerning the nature of morally right action, responsibility, and causation.
Per the terms of the grant, I make available here a copy of the syllabus for the course along with all of the assignments I have created for it. I welcome feedback on any or all of this material. I thank the NEH for its support of this project; any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations contained in these materials do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.