Philosophy of Social and Economic Justice (PHIL 273)

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Instructor: Jon Rick. This course meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00-3:15PM.

There are two organizing principles of this course: First, that Social Justice Matters.  Second, that developing normative theories of social and economic justice (especially distributive justice) is a politically urgent and morally valuable project.  We begin by examining theories of justice from the Social Contract Tradition.  Our aim is to uncover the values that may undergird principles of justice and that provide the reasons for persons to endorse different principles of justice for regulating the various institutions that make up the basic structure of our society.  Building from these historical resources, we then take up different normative theories of social and distributive justice in contemporary political philosophy, including utilitarianism, contractualist liberalism, libertarianism, egalitarianism, and communitarianism.  The course concludes with a close reading of the recent and final work of the late political philosopher, Brian Barry, Why Social Justice Matters.

Jon Rick’s webpage