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180033 SE Theories of Justice (2016S)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work

We will discuss contemporary theories of social, economic, and political justice in the Anglophone tradition. We will look primarily at issues related to distributive justice within liberal democracies, especially the debates between liberal egalitarianism and its libertarian critics. Concerning the former, John Rawls's influential theory "Justice as Fairness" will lie at the heart of the course. However, I want us to begin our discussion with a theoretical contrast that is even more striking than the one between Rawls and his opponents. In the first few meetings, the course will study and discuss two short and nice books: "Why not Socialism?" (by marxist Jerry Cohen) vs. "Why not Capitalism?" (by libertarian Jason Brennan). Starting-off the course with these two "extreme" positions should be fun and will provide some nice backdrop for the discussions that follow in the rest of the course. We'll then read and talk about John Rawls's last book "Justice as Fairness: A Restatement" and John Tomasi's "Free Market Fairness" (the latter is available as an ebook via UB Vienna).

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).

Details

max. 45 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 08.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 15.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 05.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 12.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 19.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 26.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 03.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 10.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 24.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 31.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 07.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 14.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 21.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 28.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

We will discuss contemporary theories of social, economic, and political justice in the Anglophone tradition. We will look primarily at issues related to distributive justice within liberal democracies, especially the debates between liberal egalitarianism and its libertarian critics. Concerning the former, John Rawls's influential theory "Justice as Fairness" will lie at the heart of the course. However, I want us to begin our discussion with a theoretical contrast that is even more striking than the one between Rawls and his opponents. In the first few meetings, the course will study and discuss two short and nice books: "Why not Socialism?" (by marxist Jerry Cohen) vs. "Why not Capitalism?" (by libertarian Jason Brennan). Starting-off the course with these two "extreme" positions should be fun and will provide some nice backdrop for the discussions that follow in the rest of the course. We'll then read and talk about John Rawls's last book "Justice as Fairness: A Restatement" and John Tomasi's "Free Market Fairness" (the latter is available as an ebook via UB Vienna).

Assessment and permitted materials

Your final grade will be a combination of the following three components:

1. Attendance and class participation: 10%
Attendance will be kept track of and, together with participation in class, will count towards your final grade.

2. Discussion points (4 total): 20%
FOUR times during the semester, you are required to turn in a ?discussion point? to me. A discussion point is a paragraph or two (approx. 200 ? 250 words) describing a part of the assigned reading you think we should discuss in class. You should briefly say what the (part of the) reading is about, and then say why you think we should discuss it. Aim for a robust issue. Ideally, raise an objection to the reading which we can examine in class. You can, if you like, raise two points for discussion in your discussion point, but do try to stay within the 200 ? 250 word limit. These are due to me Sunday by 5 pm (17:00), though I am very happy to accept them earlier. Late submissions cannot be accepted because I will compile a document for each session consisting of all submitted discussion points. Each discussion point is worth 4% of your final grade. Please be prepared to briefly present and explain your discussion point in class. I will grade them on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best grade. I expect everyone to get very high marks on this portion of the course.

3. Paper, 15-20 pages: 70%
You are required to turn in a paper between 15 and 20 pages long that deals with the readings and issues we discussed during the semester. Try not to go too far below or above these page requirements. Definitely do not go too far above. I highly recommend that you talk to me at the beginning of the last third of the semester in order to discuss potential paper topics. The hard deadline for submitting the paper is 9/15/2016.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The texts that will be discussed in this seminar are difficult and require a lot of patients and time to analyze. Expect to spend a significant amount of time and energy when carefully preparing the reading assignments for our meetings. If you do the readings carefully though, complete the assignments reliably, and participate in class discussion, then attaining the aims of the course will be rewarding. You will be able to comment on an influential and lasting debate in contemporary political philosophy. Students completing this course will be able to understand and analyze the central arguments for and against the two dominant approaches to the challenges of multiculturalism and diversity. Prerequisites: Some familiarity with Rawls’s “A Theory of Justice” is of advantage.

Examination topics

Close reading and discussion of recent primary literature on the topic. You are expected (i) to have read and studied the assigned readings before class meets and (ii) to actively participate in class discussion. In order to better facilitate these two tasks you are required to turn in ?discussion points? that you are then asked to briefly present during the class meeting. For details on the discussion points, see section ?course assessment.? A final paper will ask you to engage in a thorough discussion of one of the assigned readings and topics of your choice.

Reading list

Copies of the articles and chapters will be made available to you via Moodle.

Association in the course directory

BA M 6.3, PP 57.3.6, UF PP 09

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:36