Academic year
2014/2015
Teacher
Andrew Williams
Department
Departament of Humanities - Area of Moral and Political Philosophy
University
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Itinerary
Master courses
Module
Module 5. Research Seminar in Practical Philosophy
Code
570634
Credits
5
Language
English
Dates
2014-09-30 - 2014-12-02
Schedule
Tue. 15-18
Location
Building 13, Room 104, UPF (Ciutadella campus)

Description

This course examines the continuing relevance of some of the greatest or most influential figures in the history of modern political philosophy. To do so, it examines the answers their work suggests to various central questions that arise in reflecting on political life.

More specifically, we shall consider some of the main ideas of the following five historical authors: Thomas Hobbes; John Locke; Jean-Jacques Rousseau; Karl Marx; and John Stuart Mill. We shall also examine work by some contemporary Anglo-American philosophers that is inspired by, or related to, these historical precursors.
The questions we shall address will include the following.

(1) Do we need a state, and, if so, why?
(2) Under which conditions, if any, do we have a moral duty to obey a government’s commands,
(3) Under which conditions, if any, do we have a moral right to overthrow an illegitimate government?
(4) Do individuals possess rights that the state has a moral duty to respect and protect?
(5) How, if at all, can toleration be justified?
(6) What’s wrong with paternalism?
(7) What’s so good about democracy?
(8) Can private property be justified? If so, how should it be distributed? If not, why not?
(9) How do capitalism, socialism, and communism differ? Are there good reasons to favour one system over another?