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PHIL 431 Topics in Social and Political Philosophy

Central concepts and problems in political life and thought including obligation, citizenship, representation, justice; equality; civil rights and liberty; disobedience.

This course is eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading. To determine whether you can take this course for Credit/D/Fail grading, visit the Credit/D/Fail website. You must register in the course before you can select the Credit/D/Fail grading option.

Credits: 3

Pre-reqs: (9 credits of PHIL/POLI at the 200-level or above.)


Status Section Activity Term Interval Days Start Time End Time Comments
FullPHIL 431 001Seminar2 Mon14:0017:00

Topic: Exploitation and Solidarity

Course Description: This seminar will be focused on two different (though possibly related) topics: exploitation and solidarity. Exploitation has been a central concept in political philosophy since at least Marx, though it has recently been explored from other perspectives. This concept plays a role in thinking about justice and economic thinking, though has applications in ethics and feminist philosophy, among other places. While many of us accept that exploitation is a bad thing, what exactly is wrong with it? Might it be better to be exploited than ignored, economically speaking? And how does exploitation relate to fundamental ethical values, such as fairness, respect, and dignity? Solidarity is a less central concept, but one that deserves serious scrutiny, and perhaps plays an eq and ~

ually important role as a defense against being divided and conquered. Groups of people sharing a common set of interests and an identity are fundamental to political theorizing. But what makes a people into a group, and when should a group split over basic differences in values, principles, or self-conceptions, or remain united in solidarity despite such differences? Is solidarity more than a merely instrumental value? And how does solidarity relate to tolerance, democratic theory, and cultural identity? This course will address a range of issues raised by these concepts and their roles in political theory.