Introducing Social & Political Philosophy (Autumn 2011)

This page provides resources for Introducing Social and Political Philosophy, taught for Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning during autumn 2011.

Syllabus

Introducing Social and Political Philosophy (Autumn 2011)

Module Assessment

Weekly Prompts

Since these usually also serve as topic introductions, they are included in the main list of handouts below.

Prompt Pitfalls

Discusses some common mistakes made in responding to weekly discussion prompts and offers some general strategies for making the most of such short assignments.

Glossary Entry

This advice is personalised and so not posted here. Please email me or ask in class if you did not receive advice on writing your entry or if you need another copy for any reason.

Paper Topics

Paper Topics

Techniques and Strategies

Effective Objections

Handouts

The Philosopher’s Toolbox

Validity Workshop

Historical Foundations

Contractualism

Prompt 1 (Contractualism)

Selected Elements of Hobbes’s Argument

Locke on Property

Utilitarianism

Prompt 2 (Utilitarianism)

Contemporary Liberalism

Liberal Egalitarianism

Prompt 3 (Justice as Fairness)

Rawls I

Libertarianism

Prompt 4 (Libertarianism)

Feminist Liberalism

Prompt 5 (Feminist Liberalism)

Liberté, Egalité, et Fraternité

Communitarianism

Prompt 7 (Communitarianism)

Democratic Equality

Prompt 8 (Democratic Equality)

Feminist Challenges

No prompt for this week as there would be no chance of revision and it is very near the final deadline for revised paper drafts and earlier prompts.

Slides

In case you missed a class or wish to review a topic, you can download slides from previous classes in PDF format. Please note that these documents are not intended to stand on their own. If you are not taking the course, they are unlikely to be of much use to you although you are welcome to take a look if you wish. If you are taking the class and have questions, please let me know.

The Philosopher’s Toolbox

Philosophical Bootcamp

Slides from the first week of the course. There are a few extras at the end which there wasn’t time to show in class. The answers typed up in class are included.

Philosophical Bootcamp: Review of Validity Workshop

First set of slides from second week of the course.

Historical Foundations

Contractualism

Contractualism

Second set of slides from second week of the course. We will cover Locke’s theory of property next week so that these also constitute the first set of slides for the third week of the course. A second set will cover Mill.

Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism

Second set of slides from third week of the course. We will finish up the last few next week so these will also be the first set of slides for the fourth week of the course. A second set will cover Rawls, if my IT troubles allow it.

Contemporary Liberalism

Liberal Egalitarianism

Liberal Egalitarianism

Second set of slides from fourth week of the course. We will finish the last few next week so (once again) these will also be the first set for the fifth week. A second set will cover Nozick.

Liberal Egalitarianism

This set of slides was generated slightly differently and may be more convenient for printing (or at least kinder to trees). There is no difference in content.

Libertarianism

Libertarianism

Second set of slides from fifth week of the course. We will finish the last three the week after next when we return after half term so these will also be the first set for the sixth week. A second set will cover Okin and Nussbaum. This version is the compacted and more print-friendly version. I will post the version shown in class after we finish discussing Nozick as I hope to save your answers to prompt 4 in the box provided. Optimists should note that this is likely nothing but wishful thinking. Pessimists will have realised this already.

Libertarianism

This version includes the comments on prompt 4 typed up during class but will be much less convenient to print.

Feminist Liberalism

Feminist Liberalism

Slides from sixth and seventh weeks of course. This is the compact version which is more suitable for printing. (The full version included no additional information in this case.)

Liberté, Egalité, et Fraternité

Communitarianism

Communitarianism I: Charles Taylor’s Anti-Atomism

Slides from the seventh and eighth weeks of the course. This is the compact version. (I don’t think the full version contained any additional information in this case.)

Communitarianism II: Michael Walzer’s Spheres of Justice

Democratic Equality

No slides for this topic – I used the whiteboard.

Feminist Challenges

Feminist Challenges

Resources / Links

I’ve posted some resources / links which may be useful, interesting or amusing. Since this collection was created some time ago, some of the links may be broken. I’ve already weeded out one but would welcome further corrections.

Contractualism

You may enjoy this States of Nature experience, designed by students taking an introductory class in political philosophy. The game illustrates the State of Nature according to Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. Be careful out there!

Distributive Justice?

Cultivation is a game which may get you thinking about principles of distributive justice, property rights and social relations. This is not a philosophy game and is not designed to illustrate any particular philosophical theory or principle that I’m aware of. (But you may also be interested in the author’s essay on the game.) It is essentially a simulated community of gardeners situated on an island with limited resources and every game is different. Available for Mac OS X (not sure about Intel), Windows (95/98/2000/XP) and as Unix source code. If you run Linux or similar, it is probably available through your package manager. In the version I have, the land looks just like the water which makes gardening a little trickier than it is supposed to be…

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