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Summer Seminars 2017: Now Accepting Applications


Schools and universities need support if they are to perform their proper function. For over a decade, the Witherspoon Institute has helped the university accomplish its purpose through its summer programming. Each summer, we make courses available for high school students, undergraduates, and graduate and professional school students. Drawing on accomplished faculty, and held in Princeton, our seminars invite students to read, argue, learn, and willingly listen and engage each other and the texts. Our seminars encourage the formation of Socratic friendships and the fostering of civility.

For the summer of 2017, the Institute is pleased to offer the following seminars (please follow the links for dates and application information):

Moral Life and the Classical Tradition, for rising high school juniors and seniors interested in the ancient philosophical tradition and its influence in Christian moral life.

First Principles Seminar, for advanced undergraduate and pre-dissertation graduate students with interests in natural law and moral or political philosophy.

Natural Law and Public Affairs Seminar, for advanced undergraduate and graduate students interested in normative ethics and contemporary applications, as well as recent graduates and young professionals in policy or law.

The Thomistic Seminar: Themes in Aquinas and Charles Taylor, for graduate students in philosophy and related disciplines.

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Spring Seminar:
The Constitutional Jurisprudence of John Marshall


The Institute is pleased to announce a spring 2017 seminar on “The Constitutional Jurisprudence of John Marshall.”  This seminar will introduce students to the legal and constitutional thought of “the Great Chief Justice,” who presided over the U.S. Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835.  In the course of reading and discussing Marshall’s leading opinions, the seminar will cover topics that include the origins and scope of judicial review, presidential power and the law of treason, the constitutional protection of property rights, the enumerated and implied powers of Congress, federalism, and the status of native Americans under the Constitution.  Studying the work of the most influential judge in early American history, we will aim at a better understanding of the principles of legal reasoning and constitutional interpretation.

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