Social Political Philosophy

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Philosophy

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Majors Only

Social Political Philosophy

Fall 2019

Taught By: Emmalon Davis

Section: A

CRN: 7029

Credits: 4

This course will examine six philosophical approaches to social and political thought. We will begin by examining historical iterations of Social Contract Theory (Thomas Hobbes, John Locke) as well as critiques by Mary Wollstonecraft and Charles Mills. Second, we will turn to John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarian Liberalism, paying special attention to the role of women in his political theory. Next, we will explore Libertarianism (Robert Nozick, John Hospers) and Socialist Egalitarianism (Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, G.A. Cohen). Finally, we will examine John Rawls’ liberalism and Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach. These theories provide a background from which to address the following questions: How ought wealth to be distributed in a just society? What do human beings owe to non-human animals? Is access to healthcare a basic human right? Is the social contract a racial contract? What challenges does disability pose to traditional philosophical theories of justice? In addition to lecture and discussion, the course utilizes a series of short writing assignments and in-class debates to help students hone the ability to develop and communicate compelling arguments. By the end of the semester, students should be able to read a complicated text critically and carefully, to evaluate and construct arguments, and to apply theoretical perspectives to contemporary social and political issues.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Philosophy (LPHI)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Enrollment Status: Open*

*Enrollment status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 12:51pm 4/23/2019

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday, Thursday

Times: 12:00pm - 1:40pm

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 8/27/2019 - 12/12/2019