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University at Buffalo

UB Undergraduate Academic Schedule: Spring 2023

This information is updated nightly. Additional information about this course, including real-time course data, prerequisite and corequisite information, is available to current students via the HUB Student Center, which is accessible via MyUB.


PHI 342LEC - Political Philosophy
Political Philosophy GRA Enrollment Information (not real time - data refreshed nightly)
Class #:   19698   Enrollment Capacity:   44
Section:   GRA   Enrollment Total:   41
Credits:   3.00 credits   Seats Available:   3
Dates:   01/30/2023 - 05/12/2023   Status:   OPEN
Days, Time:   M W F , 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
Room:   Cooke 127B view map
Location:   North Campus      
What is Justice? Is it something we have reason to want? Are rights real things, or did we just make them up? When is the state allowed to coerce us? Why have a state at all? If we have one, how do we justify it? This course will explore modern political philosophy, with a focus on the justification and legitimate purpose of the state, and how the basic structure of society influences how we engage with each other as citizens. To explore these issues, we will look at the development of the Social Contract tradition, and responses to it. This course starts by examining the earliest hint of social contract theory, first raised by Glaucon in Plato¿s Republic. This will begin our discussion of justice, and what kind of thing it is. After that, we will jump ahead in history to look at what is in many ways the most important book ever written in political philosophy, Hobbes¿ Leviathan. Much of the rest of the course is an attempt to respond to Hobbes. The two main responses to Hobbes in the Modern era were from Locke and Rousseau, each going in quite different directions. We will see that David Hume in many ways ended the social contract tradition with a powerful critique, while Rawls famously brought it back to life in the 20th century. Rawls has since come to dominate the landscape in political philosophy ¿ much of the work in political philosophy for the past 40 years has been a response to him. We will close the course by considering several contemporary critiques of this approach. The course surveys political theories in a systematic or historical way.
  Course Description
Surveys political theories in a systematic or historical way.
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