PHIL 273.001 – Justice, Rights, and the Common Good: Philosophical Perspectives on Social and Economic Issues
Instructor: Daniel Muñoz. This course meets TR 12:30 – 1:45 p.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 philosophy, politics, and economics. We will read some classics, like Hobbes on war, but our focus will be on contemporary readings, including Martin Luther King Jr. on justice, Robert Axelrod on the evolution of cooperation, Elinor Ostrom on the Tragedy of the Commons, Michael Sandel on climate change policies, 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.