Social Ethics and Political Thought (PHIL 170.001)

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Instructor: Cole Mitchell. This course meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:00 – 12:50PM in Caldwell 105.

We will explore various questions in social ethics and political philosophy via an examination of historical texts and contemporary debates. The authors read include: Aquinas, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Mill. The contemporary debates include: abortion, euthanasia, prison reform, the death penalty, torture, banning the burqa. The grand philosophical questions considered include: Is there an overall best form of government? If so, which is it? What is justice? What separates a just government from an unjust government? What may a government force its citizens to do? May a government regulate the ‘private’ realms of family and religion? What may a government do to those living outside its borders? Under what conditions is resistance to the government (violent or nonviolent) legitimate? Is government even legitimate in the first place?

Please note: Some seats in this class have been reserved for PPE minors.

This course satisfies the PH general education requirement.

Cole Mitchell’s webpage