This course will center around readings drawn from three texts: Plato's Republic, Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, and Marx's Manifesto of the Communist Party. These works will provide us with the opportunity to investigate several central philosophical questions:
- what are our moral obligations to one another?
- Are there kinds of lives that are to be preferred to other kinds?
- What sorts of political and economic arrangements promote human flourishing? Are our actions causally determined?
- What are the conditions under which we are responsible for what we do?
- What is it to be rational, both individually and communally?
Readings from the core texts will be supplemented with relevant secondary literature.
Students will be required to write two papers, give a class presentation, and take a final exam.