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Study guide for PP110

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Byron Williston

Study guide for PP110. Disclaimer: this list does not necessarily exhaust the material for which you are responsible. Absolutism -Hobbe’s Absolutism -The state has “absolute” power over its citizens, that is power cannot be legitimately challenged by the citizens. -the sovereign must be indivisible (inseparable) Locke’s Importance -profound influence on the farmer’s of the US declaration of Independence and Constitution -a key alternative to Hobbe’s absolutism Key difference between Hobbes and Locke -Hobbes and Locke on Equality -Hobbes thinks we are all equal in the state of nature in virtue of the relative equality of power among agents. Locke thinks we are equal in the state of nature in virtue of our common origin in God. Liberal equality -each of us articulates the good for him/herself. Government therefore must remain neutral on the question of what constitutes a good life. Conservative equality: there is a single correct theory of the good. The state should actively encourage its citizens to follow it Libertarianism -John Rawls -contrasted with conservatism -key difference, the way each understands the notion of “equality” -absolute separation from church and state Locke’s right of revolution -The concept of the right of revolution was also taken up by John Locke in Two Treatises of --- -- -Government as part of his social contract theory. -Locke declared that under natural law, all people have the right to life, liberty, and estate; under the social contract, the people could instigate a revolution against the government when it acted against the interests of citizens, to replace the government with one that served the interests of citizens. In some cases, Locke deemed revolution an obligation. The right of revolution thus essentially acted as a safeguard against tyranny. Function of labour for Locke Locke introduces labour in the context of individuals rights and duties to survive. He discusses the various duties individuals have towards each other and especially the duties parents have towards their children. Such duties require labour and the labour associated with them is central to Locke's political theory. Feminist theorists have pointed out that it is often assumed that the labour associated with certain duties, such as parenting, is not politically relevant labour. This means that the individuals responsible for such labour are at a distinct disadvantage, since they must perform labour that is not recognized as important or politically relevant Legal moralism -Place limitations on individual liberty in the interest of clear moral standards -2 reasons to oppose legal moralism -no victim = no crime - there is too much disagreement about values in our society the state to impose values on individuals in cases like this Entitlement theory -Robert Nozick -The entitlement theory is historical -you have an inalienable right to your “holdings” if you acquired them or they were transferred to you by means. For example inheritance Hobbesian justice The Problem 1. There is no such thing as justice or injustice in the state of nature. 2. Injustice is, by definition, breaking a valid covenant. 3. There are valid, obligatory covenants in the state of nature Hobbesian justice only exists when we enter into civil society. In the state of nature there is no justice because there are no laws. Justice is enforced by the Ruler (Leviathan) and all matters of justice are ultimately up to him or her, as the ruler is all powerful. Justice in a Hobbesian sense I believe would also entail not breaking the covenants made upon entering civil society and leaving the state of nature. Negative/positive rights -Negative rights: concerned with life, liberty, and property. These specify things that nobody should interfere with. -Positive rights: concerned with education, health, material welfare. These specify things you ought to be supplied with. The proviso -if my appropriation of a good makes anyone worse off than they would have been had I not acted the way I did, then it is unjust. -example 1: the water hole (charge people to use the water hole, monopolize all the drinking water) -example 2: find a cure for cancer (by sharing you would cure everyone; libertarian would say that if I don’t cure they would have died anyways) 3 responses to the scientist example 1 why not argue that we have a duty to improve the situation of others 2 what if nobody else has the brains to make the drug? Can’t we then say that the researcher is hoarding his/her knowledge? Isn’t knowledge a resource? 3 Isn’t it likely that the researchers has benefited from some form of public assistance over the years (public school, research fund. Etc) Patterned theories -definition = theories about the distribution of scarce resources that are future directed -Three patterns (utilitarianism, moral merit, shoe size (only people with 12 foot and higher should have all the power) -Hockey player Sydney Crosby: He wants your money and you want to give it to him -how patterns upset and are upset by liberty -equality free choice inequality The question -isn’t Crosby entitled to all the money he now has Why is Crosby is not entitled to all this money -the poor need the money more than he does -response: perhaps but this does not justly stealing from him. Instead, try to persuade him to give to charity -Crosby does not play alone. Hundreds of people are responsible for his success. -response: the people have all agreed to be paid fair market based compensation for their labours -Because Crosby is just lucky to have the talents he does, he does not really “own” them at all -response: this is a dangerous response Hobbesian equality -we are all equal in the state of nature in virtue of the relative equality of power among agents Harm principle “My freedom ends at the tip of your nose” 3 key points -individuals should be free to express themselves anyway they see fit -the only limit to that freedom is the ability of others in society to express themselves -the state is never justified in preventing me from harming myself (rejection of paternalism) Historical justifications of holdings -related to the entitlement theory -Inalienable right to your ``holding`if you acquired them or they were transferred to you by legal means. Principal causes of quarrel (Hobbes) -there are 3 causes of Quarrel 1. Competition -general goal = gain -specific goal = to make oneself master of another’s life, wife, children and cattle 2. Fear -general goal= safety -specific goal =defence of ones life, wife, children and cattle 3. Glory -general goal = reputation -specific goal = overcoming perceived lack of social respect Laws of nature (Hobbes) 1. Seek peace, but prepared to make war 2. So long as others are willing to do the same, lay down your right to the violent “invasion” of your neighbour -power attorney over your property -if transfer right to another person therefore you do not have power anymore Lockean equality -we are equal in the state of nature in virtue of our common origin in God Rights of the sovereign (Hobbes) 1. The judge of what is necessary for the peace and defence of the commonwealth 2. The judge of what doctrines are to be taught in the common wealth 3. The right to determine all property relations in the commonwealth 4. The right to appoint judges 5. The right to make war 6. The right to appoint ministers and counselors ‘Silencing’ women through pornography -The anti porn (Catherine Mackinson) - tried to outlaw porn in state because it silence women -subordinated women through picture and words -what the court said “it is not possible to demonstrate a direct link between obscenity and rape” Why porn is sex discrimination - Women are for the most part portrayed as submissive as wanting to be dominated and abused - Women are reduced to their ability to service male sexual desire - -these portrayals have concrete effects on the way women are treated by men in a variety of social settin
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