Philosophy 450: Seminar in Ethics, Political Philosophy and the Philosophy
- Professor: William Sweet
- Office: 518 Nicholson Hall Tower
- Telephone: 867-2341 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office Hours: 10.15 am - 12 pm, Monday and Wednesday; 3.45-5
pm, Tuesday, and by arrangement.
- This class is scheduled to meet in the 'U' time block (Monday
and Wednesday at 3.45-5 pm)
This course will examine some fundamental issues in political philosophy
and the philosophy of law. The specific issues to be studies may vary, but
will be selected from such topics as the state and society, rights and duties,
justice and equality, freedom and punishment, the moral basis of political
obligation, and the concept of law. The course will include both classical
and contemporary authors.
The theme for 2002-2003 is 'rights and democracy'
Prerequisites: Senior standing in philosophy, political science,
history, or sociology or, with the permission of the instructor, junior
Course format: This is a 400 level course, and the format will be
a combination of lecture, discussion, and seminar presentation.
The object of this course will be to identify some different ways in
which we might speak of 'democracy' and the notions of personhood and human
rights that are suggested by, or implied in, them.
- Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan (selections from Parts I
- John Locke: Second Treatise of Government (selections)
- David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, Book III
- Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Women (selections)
- Jeremy Bentham:
Anarchical Fallacies; selections from Of the Civil Code.
- (Click on Bentham's name to see the 'auto-icon'. For the 'penitentiary
panopticon,' click here.)
- J.S. Mill: On Liberty (selections) and Utilitarianism
(selections); On the Use and Abuse of Political Terms.
- Herbert Spencer: Man versus the State (selections)
- Bernard Bosanquet: The Philosophical Theory of the State
- For Bosanquet biography and philosophical background, click here.
- For the required reading from The Philosophical Theory of the
State, click here.
[Note: this is a Microsoft Word document]
- Jacques Maritain: The Rights of Man and the Natural
- John Rawls: A Theory of Justice (selections)
- Robert Nozick: Anarchy, State and Utopia (selections)
- Tibor Machan: "Towards a Theory of Natural Individual Human
- Alan Gewirth, "The Basis and Content of Human Rights"
- Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue (selections)
- Charles Taylor, "The Politics of Recognition" from Philosophical
- Jürgen Habermas: "Multiculturalism and the Liberal
State," Stanford Law Review, Vol. 47, May 1995.
- Mary Ann Glendon,
Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse, (Free
Press, 1991) and Mary Ann Glendon, and D. Blankenhorn, eds. Seedbeds of
Virtue: Sources of Competence, Character, and Citizenship in American Society.
Lanham, Md.: Madison Books, 1995. (selections) [See also, Mary Ann
Glendon, "Foundations of Human Rights: The Unfinished Business." 44 American
Journal of Jurisprudence 1 (1999); "Rights Babel: The Universal Rights Idea
at the Dawn of the Third Millenium." Gregorianum 79 (1998): 611-24.]
- Robert Kraynak, Christian Faith and Modern Democracy (selections)
- Cultural Pluralism - Vinay Lal: "The Imperialism of
- Feminism - Helen Bequaert Holmes, "A Feminist Analysis
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," from Beyond Domination:
New Perspectives on Women and Philosophy, Gould, Carol C., ed., Totowa,
NJ: Rowman & Allanheld Publishers, 1984.
- Post Modernism - Richard Rorty: "Human Rights, Rationality,
and Sentimentality," In Shute and Hurley, eds., On Human Rights. Oxford
Amnesty Lectures 1993, Basic Books, NY.
- Non Western Values and Human Rights - Jack Donnelly, "Human
Rights and Asian Values: A Defense of ‘Western’ Universalism," in Joanne
R. Bauer and Daniel A. Bell, eds., The East Asian Challenge For Human
Rights (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 60-87.
Method of evaluation: Students will be required to prepare two short
written assignments or in-class presentations (one per term), 1-page 'commentaries'
on the readings (biweekly), and a 15-20 page research essay (due in the second
term), and to write a mid-year and final examination.
- Modern Liberal Political Thought , ed. William Sweet
(in manuscript). Chapters with Introductions and Readings will be distributed
during the course of the year. Students should purchase a binder in which
to retain this material. There will be a charge (at cost) to cover duplication
and copyright fees.
- Natural Law: reflections on theory and practice,
by Jacques Maritain (South Bend, IN: St Augustine's Press, 2001)
Strongly Recommended Books:
- Philosophical Theory and the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights (University of Ottawa Press, 2002) [not yet available]
- Bernard Bosanquet's "The Philosophical Theory of the State"
and Related Essays, ed. Gerald F. Gaus and William Sweet (South
Bend, IN, 2001)
Method of Evaluation:
- Short written assignments / class presentations (one per term)
- 1 page commentaries (biweekly) 10 %
- Christmas examination 20 %
- Major essay (15-20 pages) 25 %
- Final examination 25 %