PHIL 366 - Introduction to Political Philosophy
Winter 2014, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
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Details

Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Enforced Prerequisites:
One philosophy course with at least C-.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Description

There is a growing awareness among scholars in a number of fields that some important theoretical and practical questions regarding various aspects of our political and economic institutions are best addressed by drawing on all of: philosophy, politics, and economics. Consider, for instance, the following questions: what are the bases of social cooperation? Do we need political institutions in order to cooperate? Is the economic system a result of rational design or is it an effect of myriad individual transactions? How much central planning is necessary? Are rent control and minimum wage laws a good idea? Let us dwell on the latter question for a moment. Many people think that you don’t need to know much about economics in order to know the answer: rent control and minimum wage laws are good, because they protect the poor, such as low-income renters and low-wage workers. The problem with these answers is that they rely on an empirical assumption: that rent control and minimum wage laws do, in fact, help the poor. But many economists argue that this assumption is false. These economics may not be right, but we cannot tell a priori whether they are or they aren’t. We must study the evidence. This is how economics is relevant to philosophy and political theory. Now, consider the flip side: empirical evidence by itself cannot tell us whether some policy should be adopted. It can tell us whom a given policy benefits and whom it hurts, and by how much. But whether or not the policy should be adopted is a normative — not an empirical — question. Our goal in this course will be to put philosophical insight to bear in understanding the nature of market transactions and their ethical implications as well as to use knowledge of market mechanisms in proposing informed solutions to social, political, and moral problems which arise in connection with the economic structure of society.

Course Requirements:

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Schedule

PHIL 366 - Introduction to Political Philosophy
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
23622
Open
6
 
-
TuTh 12:00PM - 1:00PM
004 (DIS)
 In Person
25104
Open
2
 
-
TuTh 9:00AM - 10:00AM
005 (DIS)
 In Person
26883
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:00AM
006 (DIS)
 In Person
26884
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 3:00PM - 4:00PM
007 (DIS)
 In Person
30298
Open
2
 
-
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi

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