PHIL 436W (01) - Social and Political Philosophy

Social & Political Philosophy

Durham   Liberal Arts :: Philosophy
Credits: 4.0
Term: Fall 2022 - Full Term (08/29/2022 - 12/12/2022)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Class Size:   35  
CRN: 13245
Examines social and political thought that may include texts from ancient through contemporary times, addressing topics such as natural rights, revolution, law, freedom, justice, power. Questions may include: What is a community, and how are individuals related to communities? Can any particular form of government be morally justified, and if so, what kind of government? Can anarchism work? Is there something wrong with a society in which there is private ownership of property? What is oppressive? What is freedom, and are we free? What roles should different forms of power play in a society? Could and should there be a genderless society? Is ethnic diversity valuable? Writing intensive.
Registration Approval Required. Contact Instructor or Academic Department for permission then register through Webcat.
Equivalent(s): PHIL 436, PHIL 436H, PHIL 437
Attributes: Writing Intensive Course, Inquiry (Discovery), Humanities(Disc)
Instructors: Matthew Dowd

Times & Locations

Start Date End Date Days Time Location
8/29/2022 12/12/2022 MWF 12:10pm - 1:00pm HS 202
Additional Course Details: 



Since freedom is evidently something worth killing and dying for; since freedom is the foundation for our political, social, and economic systems; since freedom is a requirement for living morally with others and perhaps under God; in fine, since freedom has to do with the most important things, there seems to be no more valuable enterprise than an inquiry into the nature and meaning of human freedom.

To understand the meaning of freedom in its social and political ramifications, we will look historically and thematically at the role of freedom as it regards politics, God, work, property, other people, and nature. At all times we will be looking to evaluate our own understanding of the meaning of freedom. We would like to bring to bear any presuppositions we have about human freedom that determine what we expect from ourselves, and from our community. Our goal will be to understand what these authors have to say about freedom. We will also ask ourselves how these texts speak to us, or how they do not. Do these texts show us things about ourselves? Ultimately, we will critically examine the presuppositions of both our authors and ourselves as regards Freedom, The Social, and The Political. (WI, HUMA, INQ)