Political Philosophy (Fall 2010)
PHIL 321-01 | ID 10838 | MW 9:30-10:50 | Room: Craig-Lee 053 | Fall 2010
Do we have a duty to obey the law because it's the law? What gives the state the right to collect taxes and enforce laws? Is taxation akin to slavery? Is democracy morally superior to hereditary monarchy? Would we be better off without a government or outside of civilization? What gives someone the right to own land? Is private property a right? Or should we abolish the institution? How much economic inequality is just? Do we have any special duties to our home state or to our fellow citizens? Is patriotism a virtue, or is it more like racism? When, if ever, is it just to punish criminals?
These are some of the questions that we will address this semester. This course is a survey of several important problems in political philosophy. We will be reading both contemporary texts and foundational, historical works. Rather than pursue any particular issue in great depth, we will study a broad set of inter-related questions. This will provide a solid foundation for future inquiry.