Pitching a syllabus on Hegelian Dialectics and Law

Charles Lincon
3 min readSep 29, 2023

Course Title: Hegelian Dialectics in Law: An Analysis of Legal Decisions using Charles Lincoln’s “The Dialectical Path of Law”

Course Description:
This semester-long course will explore the application of Hegelian dialectics in the field of law, using Charles Lincoln’s “The Dialectical Path of Law” as a foundational text. Students will learn to analyze legal decisions in various fields of law through the lens of Hegelian dialectics, understanding how seemingly contradictory legal concepts can be reconciled without losing their inherent properties. The course will focus on international tax law and corporate law, illustrating how these seemingly distinct areas share common dialectical elements.

Instructor: Charles Lincoln

Course Objectives:
1. To introduce students to the concept of Hegelian dialectics and its application in legal analysis.
2. To develop critical thinking and analytical skills in the context of legal decision-making.
3. To explore the connection between seemingly opposing legal concepts and their synthesis.
4. To analyze specific cases and legal precedents through the dialectical lens.
5. To encourage students to think creatively and philosophically about the nature of law and its evolution.

Required Text:
- Charles Lincoln, “The Dialectical Path of Law”

Course Outline:

**Week 1–2: Introduction to Hegelian Dialectics and Legal Philosophy**
- Lecture 1: Introduction to the Course and Syllabus
- Lecture 2: Overview of Hegelian Dialectics
- Reading: Introduction and Chapter 1 of Lincoln’s book
- Discussion: Discuss key concepts in Hegelian dialectics

**Week 3–4: Anthropological Structuralism and Law**
- Lecture 3: Exploring Anthropological Structuralism
- Reading: Chapter 1 of Lincoln’s book
- Discussion: Analyze the application of Hegelian dialectics to anthropological structuralism in law

**Week 5–6: Memes of Theories and Government Archetypes**
- Lecture 4: Memes of Legal Theories
- Lecture 5: Government Archetypes in a Post-Modern World
- Reading: Chapters 2 and 3 of Lincoln’s book
- Discussion: Discuss theories and archetypes in law

**Week 7–8: Money, Debt, and Legal Analysis**
- Lecture 6: Understanding the Concept of Money
- Lecture 7: Debt and its Legal Implications
- Reading: Chapter 4 of Lincoln’s book
- Discussion: Analyze the dialectical approach to money and debt in legal analysis

**Week 9–10: International Tax Law**
- Lecture 8: Introduction to International Tax Law
- Lecture 9: OECD Approach vs. U.S. Approach
- Reading: Chapters 6, 7, and 8 of Lincoln’s book
- Discussion: Compare and contrast international tax law using Hegelian dialectics

**Week 11–12: Transfer Pricing and Risk Allocation**
- Lecture 10: Analyzing Transfer Pricing
- Lecture 11: U.S. Tax Court Precedents
- Reading: Chapters 9 and 10 of Lincoln’s book
- Discussion: Examine U.S. tax court decisions and OECD recommendations

**Week 13–14: Current Legal Precedents and Future Policy**
- Lecture 12: Comparative Analysis of U.S. Precedents and BEPS Action 9
- Lecture 13: Policy Questions for the Future
- Reading: Chapters 11, 12, and 13 of Lincoln’s book
- Discussion: Evaluate current legal precedents and future policy implications

**Week 15–16: The Philosophical Implications of Legal Dialectics**
- Lecture 14: Can the Legal System Be a Sanctuary?
- Lecture 15: The End of Philosophy and Linguistic Analysis of Law
- Reading: Chapter 14 and Conclusion of Lincoln’s book
- Discussion: Reflect on the philosophical dimensions of legal dialectics

**Week 17: Final Projects and Presentations**
- Students present their final projects applying Hegelian dialectics to a legal case of their choice.

**Week 18: Course Review and Evaluation**
- Course review
- Final assessments and evaluations

Assessment:
- Class participation and discussions: 20%
- Written assignments and reflections: 30%
- Midterm examination: 20%
- Final project and presentation: 30%

Note: This syllabus is a starting point and can be adjusted based on the specific needs and preferences of the instructor and students. It is important to encourage critical thinking and active engagement with the text throughout the course.

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Charles Lincon

Renaissance literature, Shakespeare, Hegelian dialectics, Attic Greek, masters University of Amsterdam.