This course aims to introduce graduate and professional students from a wide range of backgrounds to some central moral questions about social structures and institutions. Discussion will center on issues of justice, broadly construed as the basic virtue of social institutions. In particular, the course will ask what it is to treat people as equals, and consider different answers to this question proposed by (for example) utilitarians, liberals, libertarians, socialists and communitarians. It will also illustrate the relevance of justice to various specific areas of social life, such as poverty, health care, human rights and global climate change. The course serves as a core course for the Graduate Certificate in Ethics, but is also regularly taken independently.
TEXTS: Contemporary Political Philosophy, Will Kymlicka; Political Philosophy: A Guide for Students and Politicians, Adam Swift.