PHIL 401 B: Advanced Topics in Philosophy

Spring 2024
Meeting:
MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm / SAV 130
SLN:
18762
Section Type:
Lecture
Instructor:
TOPIC: RAWLS AND HIS CRITICS: THEORIES OF JUSTICE
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

In this course, we will study the main contributions of John Rawls to political philosophy in the 20th and early 21st centuries. We will also read a number of major critiques of his two major contributions. The first major contribution is his book A Theory of Justice, where he makes this case for Justice as Fairness, a particular theory of how to justly order the basic structure of society. Critics include Charles Mills, who argues that Justice as Fairness can perpetuate racial injustice and Susan Moller Okin, who argues that Justice As Fairness does not address gender inequality. 

Rawls' second major contribution is the idea of public reason, as articulated in his book Political Liberalism. There he argues for a particular type of liberalism that allows for fair political arrangements in societies marked by pluralism. Critics include Iris Marion Young, who critiques Rawls for his focus on rational justification the only proper way to engage in shared political life and Jean Hampton for arguing that political liberalism is insufficiently deep enough to combat gender inequalities that arise from illiberal world views.  

This course will require 2-3 papers, biweekly readings and reading quizzes, and engagement in class discussions and activities as elements of the grade. 

*Graduate students taking the course will produce one longer paper, with shorter, scaffolding assignments throughout the class.

Catalog Description:
A study of philosophical topics at the advanced level. Topics vary.
GE Requirements Met:
Social Sciences (SSc)
Credits:
5.0
Status:
Active
Last updated:
February 28, 2024 - 6:27 am