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LUISS Guido Carli

Political philosophy

Programma

ProfessorSebastiano Maffettone
Course codeAN4
General Discipline (SSD)SPS/01
Course Year1
SemesterII Semestre
Course0
Teaching LanguageEnglish
Credits8
Total Workload200
Total Lesson Hours64
Course ContentsThe course is divided in two parts. The first part will introduce students to the main contemporary political thought: liberalism, communitarianism, deliberative democracy, feminism, marxism, and utilitarianism.
The second part of course will focus some recent debates concerning the nature of autonomy, and responsibility, and explore the concept of liberal neutrality, which plays a key role in the contemporary political theorizing, especially in the Anglo-American debate.
Reference BooksRequired readings
A. Books
1. Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, Oxford University Press, London and New York, 2002 (2nd edition).
2. Sebastiano Maffettone, Rawls. An Introduction, Polity Press, London, 2011

B. Journal Articles and excerpts
1. Norman Daniels ‘Equality of What: Welfare, Resources or Capabilities?' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Supplement (1990 )
2. Gerald Dworkin, The Theory and Practice of Autonomy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1988, chapters 1-2,
3. Alan Patten, “Liberal Neutrality: A reinterpretation and Defense”, Journal of Political Philosophy (forthcoming - currently available on early view).

Suggested Readings: see references in the class by class section.
Course Formative ObjectivesThe main purpose of this course is to introduce students to the main paradigms that dominate contemporary political philosophy. This way, our aim is to foster student's critical capacity in thinking about crucial political issues, both at domestic and global level.
PrerequisitesNone. A basic knowledge of the fundamental philosophical notion may facilitate the class-work and the reading of the texts.
Teaching Method- lectures,
- team works
- cases studies
- seminars
- student presentations
- invited speakers
Assessment Method- midterm written test: 30%
- written exam: 60%
- participation and class presentations: 10%
Criteria For Deciding On Subject Of Final PaperAn excellent final grade is indispensable to submit a honor thesis project. To be approved, topics must be discussed and agreed with the teacher.
Extended Program And Reference Reading Material
Week 1Class 1: General Introduction to Political Phlosophy and Course Organization
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 1, pp. 1-9

Class 2: Utilitarianism
The basic principle of utilitarianism; a definition of utility; utility maximization.
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 2, pp.10-32.
Week 2Class 1: Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism’s inadequate conception of equality. Utilitarianism and its limits: class discussion and debate.
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 2, pp. 32-52.
Suggested: John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism, especially chapters 1, 3, and 5 (text available at: http://www.utilitarianism.com/mill1.htm).

Class 2: Liberalism and equality
John Rawls’ project: the intuitive equality of opportunity argument, the two principles of justice.
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 3, pp. 53-60
Suggested: Sebastiano Maffettone, Rawls. An Introduction, Polity Press, 2011, chapters 2-3, pp. 25-70.
Week 3Class 1: Liberalism and equality
John Rawls: original position; the difference principle and the question of distributive justice, internal problems.
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 3, pp. 60-75.
Suggested: Sebastiano Maffettone (2011), Rawls. An Introduction, Polity Press, chapters 4-5, pp. 70-157.

Class 2: Liberalism and equality
Dworkin’s conception of equality of resources: responsibility for one’s own choices and the insurance scheme argument.
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 3, pp. 75-102.
Week 4Class 1: Libertarianism
Capitalism and function of the market; the libertarian conception of freedom and the value of liberty; Nozick: self-ownership and justice in holdings. Does libertarianism undermine equality?
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 4, pp. 102-128.

Class 2: Libertarianism
Issues with the libertarian conception of freedom and justice: class discussion and debate.
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 4, pp. 126-165.
Suggested: Robert Nozick (1974), Anarchy, State, Utopia, Basic Books chapter 7, pp. 149-231.
Week 5Class 1: Same-Sex Marriage
Why same-sex marriage?; class presentation and debate.
Readings: Stephen Macedo (2015), Just Married, Princeton University Press, chapter 2: 38-59.

Class 2: Same-Sex Marriage
Why same-sex marriage?; class presentation and debate.
Readings: Stephen Macedo (2015), Just Married, Princeton University Press, chapter 5: 99-118.
Week 6Class 1: Marxism
The Marxist critique of capitalism; communism as beyond justice; social democracy and social justice; a communist theory of the State?
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 5, pp.166-207.
Suggested: Sebastiano Maffettone (2012), “Marx,” in S. Maffettone & A. Orsini, Studi in Onore di Luciano Pellicani, Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino.

Class 2: Marxism
Marxism, its critical value and its weaknesses: class presentation and debate.
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 5, pp.166-207.
Suggested: G. A. Cohen (1995), “Exploitation in Marx: What Makes it Unjust?” in G. A. Cohen, Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 195-208.
Week 7Class 1: Review of the Topics introduced so far
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapters 1-5, pp. 1-207.

Class 2: Midterm Exam
Week 8Class 1: Communitarianism
What is communitarianism?; Individual rights and the common good; the ‘unencumbered’ self.
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 6, pp. 208-228.

Class 2: Communitarianism
Communitarianism and the limits of justice: class presentation and debate.
Readings: Michael Sandel. Justice. What’s the Right Thing to do?, chapter 9, pp. 208-243.
Week 9Class 1: Political Liberalism
Liberal accommodations of communitarianism: political liberalism and liberal nationalism.
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 6, pp. 228-261. Suggested: Sebastiano Maffettone, Rawls. An Introduction, chapter 11: 260-292.

Class 2: Constitutionalism and Political Liberalism
Readings: Frank Michelman: Legitimacy, the social turn and constitutional review: What political liberalism suggests, in Critical
Quarterly for Legislation and Law (CritQ 3/2015).
Week 10Class 1: Democracy and Citizenship
Citizenship: rights, virtues, and practices; the Republican conception of citizenship as civic virtues; deliberative democracy; cosmopolitan citizenship
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 7, pp. 284-326.
Suggested: Lovett, Frank, “Republicanism”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2010 Edition), available at http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2010/entries/republicanism/

Class 2: Democracy and Citizenship
Republicanism and deliberative democracy: class presentation and debate.
Week 11Class 1: Multiculturalism
What is multiculturalism?; multiculturalism and communitarianism; multiculturalism within the liberal framework; multiculturalism and nation-building; models of multicultural integration.
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 8, pp. 327-376.

Class 2: Multiculturalism
The problems of multiculturalism: class presentation and debate.
Week 12Class 1: Feminism
Sex equality and sexual discrimination; the private and the public sphere; an ethic of care.
Readings: Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction, chapter 9, pp. 377-430.

Class 2: Feminism
Feminism and gender issues: class presentation and debate.