The Colloquium in Legal, Political, and Social Philosophy was founded by Ronald Dworkin and Thomas Nagel in 1987. It is the original model for all of NYU Law's colloquia. The Colloquium is now convened by Liam Murphy, Samuel Scheffler, and Jeremy Waldron, two of whom will host in any given year.

Each week on Thursday a legal theorist or moral or political philosopher presents a paper to the group, which consists of students, faculty from the Law School and other departments of NYU, and faculty from other universities. The choice of subject is left to the paper’s author, within the general boundaries of the Colloquium’s subjects, and the discussions are therefore not connected by any structured theme for the term as a whole, though in past years certain central topics were canvassed in several weeks’ discussion. The Colloquium aims, not to pursue any particular subject, but to explore new work in considerable depth and so allow students to develop their own skill in theoretical analysis. Each week’s paper is posted at least a week in advance, and participants are expected to have read it.

The public sessions of the colloquium take place on Thursdays, from 4 to 7 pm, in the Lester Pollack Colloquium Room on the 9th Floor of Furman Hall, 245 Sullivan St (view campus map). Visitors’ papers will be posted in advance of each meeting on this page.

Students applying for credit:

Admission to the seminar is only by professor’s permission. Students wishing to take the colloquium for credit should send their applications (an e-mail letter with their background and interest in the colloquium) to Professor Murphy’s assistant, Lavinia Barbu,, between June 1 and July 31. Before you send your application, if you are a non-Law student, please check with Academic Services to see if you are eligible to apply.

Students enrolled in the Colloquium meet separately with Professor Murphy for an additional two-hour seminar on Wednesday. One hour is devoted to a review of the preceding Thursday’s Colloquium discussion, and one hour in preparation for the Colloquium of the following day. Students are asked to write short papers weekly, and each student is asked to make two or more oral presentations to the seminar during the term. Each student is asked to expand one of his/her weekly papers, or oral presentations, for a final term paper.

Fall 2017

Professors Liam Murphy and Samuel Scheffler


Schedule of Speakers

The Conference for the Colloquium, September 7 and 8


September 7

4:30 – 6:30  Session One

Thomas M. Scanlon (Harvard)

Commentator: Samuel Scheffler (NYU)


September 8

10:00 – 12:00  Session Two

Frank Michelman (Harvard)

Commentator: Lawrence Sager (University of Texas, Austin)


2:00 – 4:00   Session Three

Seana Shiffrin (UCLA)

Commentator: Liam Murphy (NYU)


5:00 - 7:00  Session Four

Joseph Raz (King’s College London and Columbia)

Commentator: Jeremy Waldron (NYU)


September 14
Daniel Viehoff, NYU

September 28
Grainne de Burca, NYU

October 5 
Samuel Freeman, University of Pennsylvania

October 12
Jerry Gaus, Arizona University

October 19
Robert Gooding –Williams, Columbia University

October 26
Susan Wolf, University of North Carolina

November 2nd 
Ekow Yankah, Cardozo University

November 9 
David Luban, Georgetown University

November 16
Laura Valentini, London School of Economics

November 30
Juliana Bidadanure, Stanford University

December 7
Debra Satz, Stanford University



Past papers

Fall 2016
Fall 2015
Fall 2014
Fall 2011
Fall 2010
Fall 2009
Fall 2007
Fall 2006
Fall 2005
Fall 2003
Fall 2002
Fall 2001