Leopold and Loeb and an Interdisciplinary Introduction to Philosophy

Teaching Philosophy 28 (1):17-30 (2005)
This paper describes an interdisciplinary course on the philosophy of human nature that centers on the famous 1924 kidnapping-ransom-murder case involving Leopold and Loeb . After recounting the details of the “perfect crime” of Leopold and Loeb, the course is structured around five units: free will/determinism, the debate between retributivists and therapeutic approaches to punishment, the morality of the death penalty, Nietzsche’s critique of Christianity and “slave moralities”, and homosexuality. In addition to being truly interdisciplinary, the course promotes the critical evaluation of a variety of non-philosophical works and shows how philosophy can play a role in making sense of the “real world”.
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DOI 10.5840/teachphil20052815
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