Instructor: TBA (incoming July 1, 2021). This course meets MW 11:15 a.m. – 12:30p.m. in CW 105.
We live in a time of painful social conflict. And yet, there is enormous potential for cooperation on the issues we care about: violence, poverty, inequality, the environment. Why do we have such trouble promoting the common good? And when we do succeed, what makes us successful? This course will approach these questions using ideas from classical political theory: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Wollstonecraft, and Mill. We will also explore contemporary readings, which may include Martin Luther King Jr. on justice, Elinor Ostrom on the Tragedy of the Commons, G.A. Cohen on Marx’s theory of exploitation, and Amartya Sen on the Liberal Paradox, in which individual rights clash with the collective good.