Law & Philosophy Program


Who We Are – Law and Philosophy Program

Faculty Director

Core Faculty

Affiliated Faculty (Law)

Affiliated Faculty (Philosophy)

Current Postdocs

April 2014
Post Doctoral Scholars Announced

Daniela Dover is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the UCLA Law and Philosophy Program. Dover works mainly in social and political philosophy and ethics, but she also has teaching interests in the philosophy of law, metaethics, and ancient philosophy. Her current research focuses on the ethics of communication about ethics and politics. Dover scrutinizes our practices of normative discussion and debate, from everyday interpersonal quarrels to public political deliberation to academic moral philosophy. 

Dover is currently completing a Ph.D. in philosophy at New York University. Before that, she was an undergraduate in Classics at Yale. She has been a visitor at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Institut Jean Nicod, and the MIT Department of Philosophy. 

Winter Quarter 2015 Course:

Philosophy 166. Philosophy of Law, taught by Daniela Dover

This course introduces some of the central philosophical questions about law, such as law’s relation to nature, custom, and morality; whether, when and why we are morally obligated to obey the law; the source and scope of legal authority; and the justification of state punishment. Our readings will be drawn primarily from 20th-century and contemporary philosophers and legal theorists (e.g. Dworkin, Feinberg, Foucault, Fuller, Harris, Hart, MacKinnon, Matsuda, Raz, Wolff).

The following written work will be required for the course: daily quizzes on the readings; an in-class midterm (on January 22); a 3-4 page paper (due February 20); a 6-8 page paper (due March 6); and a take-home final exam (due March 16).

Interested law students are welcome to contact Daniela Dover ( if they wish to cross enroll and may be eligible for core course credit for the law and philosophy specialization.

Stephen Nayak-Young is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the UCLA Law and Philosophy Program. Nayak-Young’s research and teaching interests are primarily in labor and employment law, philosophy of law, ethics (including normative theory, applied ethics, and metaethics), and social and political philosophy. 

His dissertation undertook a conceptual and normative analysis of the nature and purpose of labor and employment law as it has developed in the U.S., Canada, and other common law jurisdictions. He explores the question to what extent we could legitimately adapt work law’s origins in the domestic relation of master and servant to a governance relationship that is justifiable in a modern liberal society committed to equal treatment of persons. One key normative question raised by this project concerns the justifiability, if any, of the broad, underspecified authority exercised by employers, which the existing regime of work law grants or permits by allowing work relationships to persist in their traditional form. 
Nayak-Young was born and raised in Canada and earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy with first-class honors from the University of British Columbia (1997), followed by a J.D. from Harvard Law School (2000), a M.A. in philosophy from the University of Toronto (2008), and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Michigan (2014).

Winter Quarter 2015 Course:

Philosophy M257. Law and Morality in the Workplace taught by Stephen Nayak-Young

In this seminar, we will investigate two broad themes – namely, workplace authority and connections between work law and distributive justice – by canvassing a selection of specific ethical and legal issues related to the workplace and work relationships. Among the issues we will canvas include: whether the current presumption of managerial authority in the workplace can be justified; what the proper bounds of such authority should be; and to what extent and in what ways work law does and should aim to advance distributive justice. Specific topics will likely include: duties and obligations attaching to the parties within work relationships; freedom of speech and other civil liberties in the workplace; sexual harassment and workplace bullying; discrimination; unions and collective action; the nature of slavery and “indentured servitude”; what it means to “commodify” workers and work; in what ways a just society should permit or forbid such commodification.

Students will be required to do the reading, write five short reaction papers, attend the seminar, participate, and write a longer (10-15 page) analytical research paper, which will be due around the end of March.

Interested law students are welcome to contact Stephen Nayak-Young ( if they wish to cross enroll and may be eligible for core course credit for the law and philosophy specialization. No prior background is necessary, but an interest in theoretical approaches to moral and legal issues as well an interest in abstract, philosophical thinking and writing are essential. All law students and all philosophy graduate students are welcome and have the relevant preparation.

Past Postdocs

Robert Hughes – Assistant Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Lecturer, UCLA Department of Philosophy 2014-2015); National Institutes of Health, Department of Bioethics, Fellow (2010-2012)

Matt King – Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Arudra Burra – Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

David Plunkett – Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Dartmouth

Louis-Philippe Hodgson – Associate Professor, Glendon College

Sari Kisilevsky – Visiting Assistant Professor, Princeton University; Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Queens College CUNY

More Information

Contact Information

Seana Shiffrin
Faculty Director,
Law and Philosophy Program

3115 Law Building
(310) 206-5464

Samantha Abelove
Program Manager,
Law and Philosophy Program

3448 Law Building
(310) 825-6255