CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Janos Kis
Winter 1995
Department of Political Science
CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY



Course Description

This is an introductory course. It aims at delimiting the field of political philosophy with respect of moral philosophy on the one hand and political science on the other, at presenting its main questions and the most important present-day answers. Special focus is going to be given to the debates within and about liberal theory started by John Rawls's A Theory of Justice. Applications to problems which are topical in Eastern Europe these days (as, e.g., compensatory justice, retroactive punishment, neutrality of the state, ethnic identity and national self-determination) will also be considered.

The even-numbered classes are generally going to be lectures, the uneven-numbered ones seminar discussions.

1. Introductory: What is Political Philosophy?
Recommended readings:
Thomas Nagel: Ruthlessness in Public Life. In: S.Hampshire (ed.): Private and Public Morality.
Hannah Arendt: The Human Condition. Ch. 2.
Leo Strauss: What Is Political Philosophy? In Strauss: What Is Political Philosophy?
Jeremy Waldron: Theoretical Foundations of Liberalism. In Waldron: Liberal Rights. Sects. II-IV.
Isaiah Berlin: Two Concepts of Liberty. In Berlin: Four Essays on Liberty. Sect I-II. (pp. 121-134).

2-3. Spontaneous order vs Statism.
Mandatory readings:
Friedrich A. von Hayek: The Constitution of Liberty. Chs 9-10. (pp. 133-161).
F.A Hayek: Law, Legislation and Liberty vol. I, pp. 35-46.
F.A.Hayek: Law, Legislation, and Liberty vol. II pp. 1-12, 62-73.
Recommended readings:
K.R.Popper: The Open Society and Its Enemies Vol. I, Chs. 9-10. (pp. 157-175 and 284-289).
N.P.Barry: On Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism, Ch. 4 (pp.58-80).

4-5. Utilitarianism.
Mandatory readings:
R.Hare: Utilitarianism. In Hare: Freedom and Reason Ch. 7. (pp. 112-136).
W.Kymlicka: Utilitarianism. In Kymlicka: Contemporary Political Philosophy, pp. 9-49.
Recommended readings:
J.J.Smart-B.Williams: Utilitarianism, For and Against. Cambridge 1973.

6-7. Philosophical Anarchism.
Mandatory readings:
R.P.Wolff: The Conflict Between Authority and Autonomy. In Wolff: In Defense of Anarchy
J.Raz: Introduction. In Raz (ed.): Authority. 1-19.
P.Riley: On the "Kantian"Foundatons of RP. Wolff's Anarchism. In J.R.Pennock-J.W.Chapman (eds): Anarchism (pp. 294-319).
Recommended readings:
RT. DeGeorge: Anarchism and Authority. In Pennock-Chapman: Anarchism (pp. 91-110).
R.Wasserstrom: Comments on "Anarchism and Authority". Ibid. (pp. 111-114).
G.Crowder: Classical Anarchism Oxford 1991.

8-9. Libertarianism (Robert Nozick) I: The Minimal State.
Mandatory readings:
R.Nozick: Anarchy State, and Utopia, Chs. 1-2. (pp. 3-53).
Recommended readings:
T.Nagel: Libertarianism Without Foundations In J.Paul (ed.): Reading Nozick.

10-11. Libertarianism (Nozick) H: Private Property.
Mandatory readings:
R.Nozick: Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Ch. 7, Sect. 1. (pp. 150-182).
W.Kymlicka: Libertarianism. In Kymlicka: Contemporary Political Philosophy, pp. 95-125, 155-159.
Recommended readings:
D.Lyons: The New Indian Claims and Original Rights to Land. In J.Paul (ed.): Reading Nozick (pp. 355-379).
J.Waldron: Superseding Historic Injustice. In Ethics Vol. 103. (1992) pp. 4-28.

12-13. Egalitarianism (Rawls) 1: The Contractarian Theory.
Mandatory readings
J.Rawls: A Theory of Justice, Ch. l . (pp. 3-53).
Recommended readings:
T.Pogge: Realizing Rawls. Chs 1-2. (pp. 15-106).

14-15. Egalitarianism (Rawls) II: Principles.
Mandatory readings
J.Rawls: A Theory of Justice, Ch.2. (pp. 54-117) and §§. 31-32 from Ch.4. (195-205).
Recommended readings:
T.Pogge: Realizing Rawls. Chs 3-4 (pp. 109-207).

16-17. Liberalism: Political not Ethical (The Later Rawls).
Mandatory readings:
J.Rawls: Political Liberalism. Lecture I. §§.1-2 (pp. 4-14) and §.6. Sects. 2-4 (pp. 36-40), Lecture IV. §.1. (pp. 134-140) and §§.6-8. (pp. 158-172), Lecture V. §.1. (pp. 174-176), §§.5-7 (pp. 190-206).
Recommended readings:
C.Larmore: Liberalism and the Neutrality of the State. In Larmore: Patterns of Moral Complexity, Ch.3, 40-68.

18-19. Liberal Equality (Ronald Dworkin) I: Ethics and Politics.
Mandatory readings:
R.Dworkin: Foundations of Liberal Equality. Sects II-III (pp. 9-35) and Sect. V (pp. 42-88).
Recommended readings:
B.Barry: Political Arguments. Foreword to the Second Edition and Ch. III Sect. 3 (pp.38-43), Ch. IV Sect. 4 (pp. 66-69).

20-21. Liberal Equality (Dworkin) E: Equality Of Resources.
Mandatory readings:
R.Dworkin: Foundations of Liberal Equality. Sect. IV (pp. 36-42) and VI (pp. 88-119).
Recommended readings:
J.Narveson: On Dworkinian Equality. In R.Arneson (ed.): Liberalism Vol. III, pp. 507-529.
R.Dworkin: Comment on Narveson. Ibid. pp. 530-546.

22. The Liberal-Communitarian Debate.
Mandatory readings:
C.Taylor: Cross-Purposes - The Liberal-Communitarian Debate. In N.Rosenblum (ed.): Liberalism and the Moral Life (pp. 159-182).
W.Kymlicka: Communitarianism. In Kymlicka: Contemporary Political Philosophy, pp. 199-237.
Recommended readings:
S.MacIntyre: Is Patriotism a Virtue? In R.Arneson (ed.): Liberalism, Vol. III, pp. 246-263.
M.Sandel: Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, Ch. 4.
X M.Walzer: Membership. In Walzer: Spheres of Justice. Ch.2. (pp. 31-63.)

Active participation in the seminar discussions is welcome. A mid-term essay and a final essay (both of 10-15 pages, the second to be complemented with technical notes and a fair bibliography of readings) are going to be required. Grading will depend on these three factors in the following way:
participation in the seminars: 40 %
mid-term essay: 25 %
final essay: 35 %.


CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: July, 1996

Kis_ConPolPh.W95PS.v3

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