NORMATIVE POLITICAL THEORY
Stampa
Anno immatricolazione
2017/2018
Anno offerta
2018/2019
Normativa
DM270
SSD
SPS/01 (FILOSOFIA POLITICA)
Dipartimento
DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE POLITICHE E SOCIALI
Corso di studio
SCIENZE POLITICHE E DELLE RELAZIONI INTERNAZIONALI
Curriculum
Studi internazionali
Corso di studio
Periodo didattico
Primo Semestre (01/10/2018 - 14/12/2018)
Crediti
6
Ore
40 ore di attività frontale
Lingua insegnamento
INGLESE
Tipo esame
ORALE
Docente
CARTER IAN FRANK (titolare) - 6 CFU
Prerequisiti
Students must be able to read all the texts in English. Students who attend the course (frequentanti) must be fluent in speaking and listening comprehension (at least B2 level).

No previous knowledge of political philosophy is required. However, a broad familiarity with the history of modern western political thought and/or with the basic concepts of political science is likely to prove helpful.
Obiettivi formativi
The course aims to help students to achieve a basic understanding of the most important controversies in contemporary political philosophy, an improved ability to apply abstract principles to specific public issues, and an improved ability to argue effectively in political debates.

In addition, students will acquire a specialist understanding of one of the four main concepts listed in the course program.
Programma e contenuti
The course introduces students to the main controversies surrounding four central concepts in normative political theory: freedom, rights, distributive justice, and equality.

During the course students will be expected to do some introductory reading on each of these four topics. Students will also choose one of the four topics and do more specialized reading in preparation for the exam.

The issues to be covered in the course will include the following.

Freedom: Should freedom be understood as the absence of interference, or as self-determination? Does one need to live in a particular kind of political regime in order to be free? Can government paternalism be compatible with freedom?

Rights: What is it to have a right? How are rights related to interests? What is a human right? Is there a human right to a basic standard of living?

Distributive justice: Does justice consist in giving each person what she or he deserves? Or in respecting certain of their freedoms? Is the redistribution of wealth compatible with individual freedom?

Equality: What does it mean to say that all humans, or all the citizens of a given polity, have an equal status, and ought to be treated "as equals"? How radically should we interpret the ideal of equality of opportunity? Should governments ever aim for equality of outcomes?

During classes, we shall also try to apply these general questions to more specific issues, including at least some of the following: freedom and paternalist "nudging" by governments; security, liberty and the right against torture; affirmative action; basic income; equality and personal responsibility; hate speech and the limits of freedom of expression.
Metodi didattici
Classes will include introductory lectures on each of the main topics, and seminars in which the students will engage in discussions and debates, applying abstract concepts to the applied issues and case studies listed in the course program.
Testi di riferimento
For the exam, students are required to study all the texts in Section A, and any ONE of the four lists of texts in Section B, below.

All of the texts can be purchased as collections of photocopies at the CLU bookshop, Via San Fermo 3, Pavia, from mid September 2018 onwards. Ask for the “dispense” for:
1. “Normative Political Theory, Section A”, and
2. “Normative Political Theory, Section B, List 1/2/3/4”, specifying your chosen list for Section B.


SECTION A

Ian Carter, “Liberty”, in K. McKinnon, R. Jubb and P. Tolmin (eds), Issues In Political Theory, 4th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Peter Jones, Rights (London: Macmillan, 1994), chs 1 and 2, pp. 12-44.

Tom Campbell, “Human Rights”, in K. McKinnon (ed.), Issues In Political Theory, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 168-89.

Adam Swift, Political Philosophy. A Beginners’ Guide for Students and Politicians, 3rd ed. (Cambridge: Polity, 2014), pp. 11-48.

Stuart White, Equality (Cambridge: Polity, 2007), ch. 4, “Luck egalitarianism”, pp. 78-97.

Jonathan Wolff, “Case Study: Social Justice and Disability”, in K. McKinnon (ed.), Issues In Political Theory, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 115-118.

Monica Mookherjee, “Case Study: The Muslim Veil”, in K. McKinnon (ed.), Issues In Political Theory, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 161-66.

"Human Rights: Hate Speech", from K. McKinnon (ed.), Issues In Political Theory, 3rd ed., online resources:
https://global.oup.com/uk/orc/politics/pol_theory/mckinnon3e/student/cases/

SECTION B

List 1: Freedom

Isaiah Berlin, from “Two Concepts of Liberty (1969)”, in I. Carter, M.H. Kramer and H. Steiner (eds), Freedom. A Philosophical Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 39-58.

F.A. Hayek, from The Constitution of Liberty (1960), in I. Carter, M.H. Kramer and H. Steiner (eds), Freedom. A Philosophical Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 104-109.

Isaiah Berlin, from “Two Concepts of Liberty (1969)”, in I. Carter, M.H. Kramer and H. Steiner (eds), Freedom. A Philosophical Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 131-32.

Charles Taylor, from “What’s Wrong with Negative Liberty” (1979), in I. Carter, M.H. Kramer and H. Steiner (eds), Freedom. A Philosophical Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 153-62.

John Christman, from “Liberalism and Individual Positive Freedom”, in I. Carter, M.H. Kramer and H. Steiner (eds), Freedom. A Philosophical Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 148-52.

Philip Pettit, from Republicanism (1997), in I. Carter, M.H. Kramer and H. Steiner (eds), Freedom. A Philosophical Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 110-119.

Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, Nudge. Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (London: Penguin, 2008), “Introduction”, pp. 1-15.

Daniel M. Hausman and Brynn Welch, “To Nudge or Not to Nudge”, Journal of Political Philosophy, 18 (2010), pp. 123-36.


List 2: Rights

H.L.A. Hart, “Are There Any Natural Rights?”, in A. Quinton, Political Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967), pp. 53-66.

Hillel Steiner, An Essay on Rights (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994), ch. 2: “Rights”, only pp. 74-92.

Joseph Raz, The Morality of Freedom (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), ch. 7: “The Nature of Rights”, pp. 165-92.

Onora O’Neill, “The Dark Side of Human Rights”, in T. Christiano and J. Christman (eds), Contemporary Debates in Political Philosophy (Oxford: Blackwell, 2009), pp. 425-36.

James W. Nickel, “A Defense of Welfare Rights as Human Rights”, in T. Christiano and J. Christman (eds), Contemporary Debates in Political Philosophy (Oxford: Blackwell, 2009), pp. 437-56.

Thomas Pogge, World Poverty and Human Rights (Cambridge: Polity, 2008), General Introduction, pp. 1-7; ch 2, pp. 59-76; ch 4, pp. 118-22; ch 7, pp. 175-79.


List 3: Distributive Justice

F.A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty (London: Routledge, 1960), c h. 6, pp. 85-102.

John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (Cambridge Mass., Harvard University Press, 1999), secs 1-6, pp. 3-30.

Robert Nozick, “Moral Constraints and Distributive Justice”, in M. Sandel (ed.), Liberalism and its Critics (Oxford: Blackwell, 1984), pp. 100-122.

F. A. Hayek, from The Constitution of Liberty (1960), in I. Carter, M.H. Kramer and H. Steiner (eds), Freedom. A Philosophical Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 356-57.

Murray Rothbard, from The Ethics of Liberty, in I. Carter, M.H. Kramer and H. Steiner (eds), Freedom. A Philosophical Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 362-64.

Philippe Van Parijs, from Real Freedom for All (1995), in I. Carter, M.H. Kramer and H. Steiner (eds), Freedom. A Philosophical Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 366-69.

G. A. Cohen, from Self-ownership, Freedom and Equality (1995), in I. Carter, M.H. Kramer and H. Steiner (eds), Freedom. A Philosophical Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 370-75.

Philippe Van Parijs, “A Basic Income for All”, in J. Cohen and J. Rogers (eds), What’s Wrong with a Free Lunch? (Boston: Beacon Press, 2001), pp. 3-26.


List 4: Equality

Amartya Sen, Inequality Reexamined (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), chs 2 and 3, pp. 31-55

John E. Roemer, “Equality and Responsibility”, Boston Review, 20 (1995), http://bostonreview.net/archives/BR20.2/roemer.html.

Marc Fleurbaey, “Equal Opportunity or Equal Social Outcome?”, Economics and Philosophy, 11 (1995), only pp. 38-43.

Jonathan Wolff, “Fairness, Respect, and the Egalitarian Ethos”, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 27 (1998), pp. 97-122.

Ian Carter, “Respect and the Basis of Equality”, Ethics, 121 (2011), pp. 538-71.

Michael Sandel, Justice. What’s the Right Thing to Do? (London: Penguin, 2010), ch. 7: “Arguing Affirmative Action”, pp. 167-183.

Ronald Dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously (London: Duckworth, 1977), ch. 9: “Reverse Discrimination”, pp. 223-39.
Modalità verifica apprendimento
In the final exam, students will answer questions designed to test their knowledge and understanding of the theoretical issues discussed in the introductory texts and their specialist knowledge of the interpretative issues surrounding a particular normative political concept. The exam questions will also give students the chance to demonstrate their powers of autonomous reasoning and critical judgement and their ability to construct effective arguments on controversial political issues.

For attending students (frequentanti), the exam will consist in a two-hour written paper. In the first hour, the student will answer two compulsory questions based on the readings from section A in the exam bibliography. In the second hour, the student will answer one open question on her/his chosen specialized topic (four alternative questions will be provided, each based on the readings in one of the lists in section B of the exam bibliography).

Access to the attending-student exam (esame per frequentanti) depends on having been present at no less than 75% of the scheduled classes and having taken active part in one of the debates in class.

Students who do not qualify for the above exam must take a non-attender exam (esame da non-frequentante). The non-attender exam consists in the same written exam as above, and, in addition, an oral exam on the following text: Michael Sandel, Justice. What’s the Right Thing to Do? (London: Penguin, 2010), chapters 1-6.
Altre informazioni
It is not compulsory to answer the exam questions in English: students may write their exam in English or Italian or French. However, no allowances will be made for any linguistic difficulties in understanding the English-language texts.