In Social and Political Philosophy we overview classic and contemporary philosophical arguments related to the foundations of a just and flourishing society. In the process we address a wide panoply of socially, politically, and morally urgent practical topics. To one extent or another, varying with student interest, we discuss rights, power, justice, liberty, equality, oppression, democracy, oligarchy, monarchy, tyranny, international relations, civil disobedience, individual/state relations, state/society relations, church/state relations, libertarianism, socialism, social justice, concepts of race and racism, concepts of gender and sexuality, feminism, LGBT issues, secularism, the common good, criminal justice, human rights, terrorism, drugs, and the nature and limits of moral legitimacy for legal authority. We also address socially and politically salient controversies in applied ethics. These spheres include sexual ethics (monogamy, promiscuity, polyamory, prostitution, pornography, rape, etc.) business ethics, biomedical ethics (euthanasia, abortion, etc.), ethics of technology, and the ethics of war (including Just War Theory). Sometimes our discussions will be responsive to current events. Major political philosophers we address include Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Nietzsche, Rawls, Nozick, and Walzer (among many others). There is no university credit for attending these class sessions. For more details on how my classes work in general, please see the FAQ. For more about me, see this page.
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