- The student is able to define the basic concepts of important contemporary social and political philosophers (Rawls, Taylor, Nussbaum, etc.).
- The student is able to reconstruct the arguments for important contemporary theories of justice (liberal egalitarianism, communitarianism, libertarianism, feminism).
- The student is able to reconstruct and compare philosophical insights in important debates in contemporary social and political philosophy.
- The student understands the relationship between views of mankind and views of society in social and political philosophy.
- The student is able to relate and apply the course contents to current social and political issues.
- The student is able to analyze a complex philosophical text and to reconstruct the main arguments in the text.
- The student is able to make and give a clear and academically adequate presentation relating to but going beyond the lectures.
The evaluation consists of a presentation (30%) and a written exam with open questions (70%, divided equally over midterm and end exam). A passing grade for the presentation is required to pass the course. Both the exam and the resit consists of conceptual and essay questions.
The seminars are obligatory.
This course provides an introduction to important debates in contemporary social and political philosophy. First we focus on theories justice. Students will gain insight in diverse currents, including liberal egalitarianism, communitarianism, libertarianism and feminism. We will encounter many important contemporary social and political philosophers, such as John Rawls, Charles Taylor, Martha Nussbaum and may others. Moreover, we will also address some specific topics that play an important role in contemporary social and political philosophy. Possible topics include the meaning of democracy, criticism of free markets, the place of religion in the public sphere, multiculturalism, political emotions, etc.
During the tutorials students also work on their reading and presentation skills. The tutorials consist of a combination of student presentations and close reading analyses of key texts.