The Moral Foundations of Politics

Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll: Anyone
Course Language: English
Price: FREE

About the Course

This course explores main answers to the question, “When do governments deserve our allegiance?” It starts with a survey of major political theories of the Enlightenment—Utilitarianism, Marxism, and the social contract tradition—through classical formulations, historical context, and contemporary debates relating to politics today. It then turns to the rejection of Enlightenment political thinking. Lastly, it deals with the nature of, and justifications for, democratic politics, and their relations to Enlightenment and Anti-Enlightenment political thinking. Practical implications of these arguments are covered through discussion of a variety of concrete problems.

Texts

Arendt, Hannah. Eichmann in Jerusalem. New York: Viking, 1963.

Bromwich, David. “Introduction” to On Empire, Liberty, and Reform: Speeches and Letters. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.

Burke, Edmund. Reflections on the Revolution in France. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Hamilton, Alexander, John Jay, and James Madison. The Federalist Papers. Ed. Ian Shapiro. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009.

Locke, John. Two Treatises of Government and a Letter Concerning Human Understanding. Ed. Ian Shapiro. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988.

MacIntyre, Alasdair. After Virtue. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007.

Mill, John Stuart. On Liberty. Ed. David Bromwich and George Kateb. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003.

Nozick, Robert. Anarchy, State and Utopia. New York: Basic Books, 1974.

Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. 2nd edition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.

Shapiro, Ian. Democratic Justice. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999.

Shapiro, Ian. Moral Foundations of Politics. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003.

Tucker, Robert C., ed. The Marx-Engels Reader. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1978.

About the Professor

Ian Shapiro is Sterling Professor of Political Science and Henry R. Luce Director of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. A native of South Africa, he received his J.D. and Ph.D. from Yale, where he has taught since 1984. His most recent books are The Flight From Reality in the Human Sciences; Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Fight Over Taxing Inherited Wealth (with Michael Graetz); and Containment: Rebuilding a Strategy against Global Terror. His current research concerns the relations between democracy and the distribution of income and wealth.

License Information

Ian Shapiro, PLSC 118: The Moral Foundations of Politics (Yale University: Open Yale Courses), http://oyc.yale.edu (Accessed March 10, 2015). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

http://oyc.yale.edu/terms

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/

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