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Lecture

Philosophy 2801F/G Lecture Notes - Political Philosophy, Monism


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHIL 2801F/G
Professor
Lawson

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READINGS WEEK 1 LECT 1 CHPT 1
THE PROJECT
Recent emphasis has been on the ideals of justice, freedom, and community which are
invoked when evaluating political institutions and policies
Left and right are distinguished by their views of freedom and justice in the traditionally
male dominated spheres of government and economy
Communitarians believe that evaluating political institutions cannot be a matter of
judging the against some independent a historical standards
That alongside the older appeal to equality(socialism) and liberty (libertarianism)
political theories now appeal to the ultimate values of contractual agreement and the
common good laid out by Rawls
Monistic theory of justice to subordinate all other values to one overriding value
seems almost fanatical
One traditional aim of political philosophy was to find coherent and comprehensive
rules for deciding between conflicting political values
Political philosophy drowning in its own success
On Dworkin’s view every plausible political theory has the same ultimate value which is
equality
Egalitarian theory we mean a theory which supports an equal distribution of income
Egalitarian theories enquire that the government treat its citizens with equal
consideration
Not every political theory ever invented is egalitarian in this broad sense
The traditional view tells us that the fundamental argument in political theory is
whether to accept equality as a value, revised view tells us that the fundamental
argument is not whether to accept equality but how best to interpret it
A NOTE ON METHOD
Evaluating a particular account of the nature of political philosophy, cannot be
separated out from evaluating substantive theories of justice
Fundamental continuity between moral and political philosophy
First, moral philosophy sets the background for political philosophy
We have moral obligations toward each other, some of which are matters of public
responsibility enforced through public institutions
Those obligations which justify the use of public institutions
Secondly, responsibilities must fit into a broader moral framework that makes room for
and makes sense of our private responsibilities
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