Academic Catalog 2022–2023

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PHL326 Social and Political Philosophy

[3–0, 3 cr.]

Through a selection of works by leading thinkers from Plato onwards, issues addressed include the basic theoretical approaches (social contract theories, utilitarianism, political realism, politics guided by the idea of the Good and other ideas that are metaphysically grounded), the nature of power, good vs. bad governance, the role of reason in social and political life, ideology, the relation of ethics to politics (including a look at how ethical theories like utilitarianism and pragmatism can be utilized in political theory), and the recent liberalism vs. communitarianism debate.