After the course, the student is able to:
· Reproduce and analyze the views of social philosophers (Hobbes, Marx, Foucault) on power;
· Summarize the debates on justice (utilitarianism, Rawls) and evaluate the plausibility of the views in those debates;
· Provide ethical arguments for and against markets and relate those to notions like marketization, fairness, corruption, exploitation, crowding out and consumerism;
· Formulate the pros and cons of meritocratic forms of organizing companies, organizations, and society at large.
· Apply all of the above insights to contemporary societal challenges.
The course consists in 13 lectures (HC) and 4 tutorials (WC) which are divided into 4 modules. Each of these modules analyzes a crucial set of questions and issues in social and political philosophy.
1. Power: When it is legitimate? What role does power play in creating and/or mitigating conflicts in interests?
2. Ethics: What is justice and how can we distinguish between morally desirable and undesirable policies?
3. Markets: Why and when are markets morally (un)desirable? When do markets lead to exploitation, alienation, unfairness, corruption and positional externalities?
4. Meritocracy: What is meritocracy? How can meritocracy be distinguished from related notions such as procedural fairness, substantive equality of opportunity, and desert?
In each of these themes, we go into different philosophical perspectives on the relation between people (individuals) on the one hand and the groups they make up (organizations, societies) and institutions that govern their interactions on the other).