Learning goals Part 1
After the course the student is able to:
- Reproduce and analyze the views of social philosophers (Hobbes, Marx, Foucault) on power;
- Formulate the debates on desirable institutions and social justice (utilitarianism, Rawls) and evaluate the plausibility of the views in those debates;
- Formulate the pros and cons of meritocratic forms of organization and incentives, analyze their impact on individual motivation and apply them in concrete cases.
Learning goals Part 2
After this course the student will be able to;
- Describe the distinction between private, public and social realms;
- Explain how individuality and plurality interact;
- Analyze the ways in which instrumentality operates in modern societies;
- Elaborate how power is constituted by speech and action in the public realm and how it creates resistance against different forms of violence.
Content Part 1
The course consists in two parts. The first part focuses on ways in which individuals and institutions relate to each other. Three themes will be analyzed more fully:
- Power (Hobbes, Marx, Foucault);
- Ethics and justice (Mill, Bentham, Rawls);
- Meritocracy and incentives (Verhaeghe, Frey).
We discuss the relevance of these insights to understand how groups, societies and companies function. What role does power play? What exactly is desirable policy-making and what are the advantages and disadvantages of meritocratic organizations and societies and financial incentives?
Content Part 2
In this part of the course, we will investigate the contemporary theories of plurality in light of the views of the philosophers such as Arendt, Adorno, Habermas and Nancy. For this aim, first, we will explain the distinction between private, public and social realms, and second, we will examine the relations between individuality and plurality, and why plurality particularly matters today. As we shall see, this question will lead us to rethink and develop strategies (i) against violence, and (ii) for our capacities to form power.