Social and Political Philosophy (Minor)

Host Institution
University of Groningen
Social and political philosophy is concerned with asking philosophical questions about the role that political institutions play in our societies. In particular, it is concerned with the question what it is that makes political rule legitimate. We will consider various answers to this question that have been proposed in the history of Western thought, such as the idea that government is a necessary condition for the happiness and virtue of citizens, that it is based on their consent or that it protects fundamental rights. We will also discuss anarchist objections to the idea of legitimate government as well as arguments about democracy and social justice. The course covers liberal theories of social justice, libertarianism, Marxism, and feminist theories. These approaches will be examined in their historical dimension, their systematic arguments, and in regard to their relevance to current political issues.