CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Janos Kis
Fall 1993
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. It will present political philosophy's main questions and the most important contemporary answers to these. It will also focus on applications to problems which are topical in Eastern Europe these days: compensatory justice, retroactive punishment, privatization, neutrality of the state, ethnic identity and national self-determination.

The unpaired classes are generally going to be lectures, the paired ones seminar discussions.

1-2. Introductory: What is Political Philosophy?
Mandatory readings:
J. Raz: Introduction. In: Raz (ed.): Authority. 1 -19.
J. Waldron: Theoretical Foundations of Liberalism.
W. Kymlicka: Contemporary Political Philosophy, 1-8.

3-4. The Austrian Critics of Totalitarianism.
Mandatory readings:
K. Popper: The Open Society and Its Enemies I, 157-175, 284-289.
Friedrich A. von Hayek: The Constitution of Liberty, 397-411.
F.A.Hayek: The Road to Serfdom, 40-53, 66-75, 135-149.

5-6. Utilitarianism.
Mandatory readings:
R.Hare: Utilitarianism In Freedom and Reason
A. Quinton: Introduction and Epilogue. In Quinton: Utilitarian Ethics.
W.Kymlicka: Contemporary Political Philosophy, 9-49.

7-8. Anarchism.
Mandatory readings:
R.P.Wolff: The Conflict Between Authority and Autonomy. In J.Raz (ed.): Authority. Oxford 1990
J . Raz: Introduction . In: Raz (ed.): Authority

9-10. Libertarianism (Nozick) I: The Minimal State.
Mandatory readings:
Nozick: Anarchy, State, and Utopia, 3-25, 28-53.

11-12. Libertarianism (Nozick) II: Private Property.
Mandatory readings:
Nozick: Anarchy, State, and Utopia, 150-182.
D.Lyons: The New Indian Claims and Original Rights to Land. In J.Paul (ed.): Reading Nozick. Oxford 1982.
J.Waldron: Superseding Historic Injustice. In Ethics 103 (1992) 4-28. W.Kymlicka: Contemporary Political Philosophy. Oxford 1990. 95-125, 155-159.

13-14. Contractarian Egalitarianism (Rawls) I: Theory.
Mandatory readings:
J.Rawls: A Theory of Justice, Ch.1. (pp. 3-53) and paragraphs 24-25 from Ch.3. (136-150)
W.Kymlicka: Contemporary Political Philosophy, 50-76, 90-94.

15-16. Contractarian Egalitarianism (Rawls) II: Principles.
Mandatory readings:
J.Rawls: A Theory of Justice, Ch.2. (54-117) and paragraphs 31-32 from Ch.4. (195-205)
Recommended readings:
T.M.Scanlon: Rawls Theory of Justice. In N. Daniels (ed.): Reading Rawls. Oxford 1975 369205.
N.Daniels: Equal Liberty and Unequal Worth of Liberty. In Daniels (ed.): Reading Rawls. Oxford 1975. 253-281.

17-18. Contractarian Libertarianism (Buchanan).
Mandatory readings:
J Buchanan: The Limits of Liberty, 91-106, 130-146. J.Buchanan: Rules for a Fair Game. Contractarian notes on Distributive Justice. In Buchanan.: Liberty, Market and State, 123-139.
J.Buchanan: Justice and Equal Treatment. In Buchanan: Liberty, Market and State, 140-158.
W.Kymlicka: Contemporary Political Philosophy, 124-132.

19-20. Liberal Equality (Dworkin) I: Equal Respect.
Mandatory readings:
R.Dworkin: Liberalism. In Dworkin: A Matter of Principle
R.Dworkin: What Rights Do We Have? In Dworkin: Taking Rights Seriously.
W.Kymlicka: Contemporary Political Philosophy. 199-207, 232-234.

21-22. Liberal Equality (Dworkin)II: Equality of Resources.
Mandatory readings:
R.Dworkin: Justice and Resource. In Liberal Equality
W.Kymlicka: Contemporary Political Philosophy 76-85, 90-94.

23-24. Communitarianism I (MacIntyre).
Mandatory readings:
A.MacIntyre: Is Patriotism a Virtue?
W.Kymlicka: Contemporary Political Philosophy. 199-237.
S.Mulhall-A.Swift: Liberals and Communitarians. Oxford 1992. 70-100.

25-26. Communitarianism II (Walzer).
Mandatory readings:
M.Walzer: Philosophy and Democracy. In Political Theory 9 (1981) 379-399.
M.Walzer: Spheres of Justice, 3-30.
S. Mulhall-A.Swift: Liberals and Communitarians 127-156.

27-28. Perfectionist Liberalism (Raz).
Mandatory readings:
J.Raz: The Morality of Freedom. Oxford 1986. 412-430.
J.Raz-A.Margalit: Self-Determination
A.Buchanan: The Case for a Moral Right to Secede. Ir. Buchanan: Secession, 29-52.
S.Mulhall-A.Swift: Liberals and Communitarians. 249-288.

Active participation in the discussions is welcome. A midterm 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 required. Grading will depend on these three factors in the following way:
participation at the seminars: 30 %
mid-term essay: 30 %
final essay: 40 %


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

Kis_ContPoPh.F93PS.v3

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