Spring 2022

Animal Trials

Listed in: Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, as LJST-239

Moodle site: Course


Lindsay Stern (Section 01)


Laboratories are modern-day truth factories, but they are also places where monkeys bargain, dolphins mimic human speech, and rodents suffer heartbreak. What are the juridical conditions of possibility for the study of animal minds? Do the conclusions of certain experiments on animal subjects undermine their ethical justification? This course investigates the significance of animals to legal, literary, and scientific explorations of personhood. Ranging from philosophy to fiction and poetry, from ancient Indian rock edicts to medieval and early modern attempts to define the specifically human soul, we will inquire into the affinity between the foregone “animal trials” of the Middle Ages and the contemporary science of consciousness.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester.  Visiting Instructor Stern.

Class will meet two times per week for 80 minutes.

If Overenrolled: Priority given to LJST majors


Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022