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POLS 4212 (1)

4212 Lecture Notes Until October 10th .docx

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McMaster University
Political Science
POLS 4212
Peter Penz

th September 19 2013  Ethics sometimes referred to practical philosophy  Takes general issues and at times seems rather abstract  Many policy disputes are really moral disputes  Criticising them for having an inadequate or moral deficient basis  Not just one ethics (NGO community get a sense of other-ing in terms of ethics)  Ethics not a position but a field of position –engage in arguments because it is dialectical  Utilitarianism  Libertarianism  Egalitarianism  Contractism/contract theory  Capabilities approach used to critique Beauchamp Theories of distributive Justice and Cosmopolitanism  Utilitarianism –something that can be useful –everyday use  Utilitarianism presented as a theory of human nature, assume that all human beings are selfish and they are smart in their selfishness, rational choice theory  Encyclopaedia of philosophy presents it as a school of thought that claims it is the maximization of well being  These two things are incompatible  In this course dealing with it as an ethical theory dealing with maximization of well being  Consequentialist theory, doesn’t matter what you have in mind, what matters is the consequences of your actions are  Much of public policy is really based on having good consequences  Consequentialism nd 2 aspect of utilitarianism is welfarism aggregatism –utilitarianism takes the total well being and consequences of an action and policy and determines whether good or bad and takes action in regards to it  claims to be a theory of distributive justice –whatever justice produces the best amount of well being  economist used utilitarianism dealt with well being interpreted as want satisfaction, preference fulfillment  economist use income, money –more income is better than less income  consumer sovereignty –economy actually produces what the people want  cost benefit analysis became really popular as a way of assessing big projects social cost –method used for public actions, public process, public policies benefits out of particular project, losses are all the losses you have if benefits outweigh the cost, that’s okay  Pareto principle –notion to determine when we should call something a social benefit, when at least one person is better off and no one is worse off  could take cost benefit analysis and not just make it aggregative, and say everyone who lost is compensated  utilitarianism is conservative  Peter Singer –whose well being do we need to be concerned about if we need are utilitarianism  May not have to worry about plants, any being who is capable of pain would need to be taken into account  Whatever pleasure we get out of eating meat, is no comparison for animals suffering particularly with the evolved animal slaughter system  Argues their should be radical redistribution of wealth from rich to poor Libertarianism  As a libertarian you maximize liberty  Freely holding property and no one interferes with the property I own  Negative freedom –freedom from interference  There are positive freedoms –freedom from hunger, illiteracy Egalitarianism  Equality of everyone  Marxism has a problem with ethics in general  Base includes economy, technology, economic relations, also have superstructure of government and ideology, the superstructure flows out of the base (economy) and is shaped by it  Serves to rationalize the system that is there Contractarianism  realism –every state has to look after their own morality  morality of states/ internationalism –international justice/ ethics, simply a matter of relations between states  cosmopolitanism –humanity as a whole th September 26 2013  Welfare economics deals with questions such is what are good policies and institutions  Preference form of economics closely connected to income  The more money you have the more wants you can satisfy  Need social or economic income so your kind of wants can be fulfilled under consumer economy –responsive to preference of people  Connection with cost-benefit analysis –way of optionalize way of utilitarianism  One response of cost-benefit analysis –of course your need impact assessment  How should we determine welfare/well-being  Accepted by economists and peter singer –interpreted to ones satisfaction for preference fulfillment  Criticism led to two opposite reactions  Want satisfaction approach  Do we find that higher income really makes us happier  For society as a whole income has doubled  Studies have found that  What makes us happy? (Goes back to Bentham)  Move back to Bentham that represents our well being and happiness  Utilitarianism is one method for distributive justice but made for public justice  Anther theory put forward for distributive justice is libertarianism  Freedom should be maximized –freedom from the state –taxation, government regulations  Social Contract theory/Egalitarian theory  Armstrong argues that maybe it’s an anti-egalitarian theory  Much of the global state system inspired by Europe  Shaped by the early state of the Roman Empire  Roman Empire established norms and expectations  “Pax Romana” Roman peace –roman empire kept the peace and let trade and roads to develop  water systems started to decline, decline in levels of living  with the barbarian migration and destruction of part of the roman empire, feudal system developed  loyalty of aristocrats, warfare developed (acted like warlords) until state system  Charlemagne developed his empire –Charles the Great  Called his empire the Holy Roman Empire led to thirty years war 1614-1648  Religious war rd October 3 2013  Focus was there was very little to justice  Worked very hard to establish a state to avoid Hobbesian state of nature  Everyone fighting with each other in the state of natue, not tolerable so gotten rid of by creating sovereign state  State of nature would not prevail outside of the state of nature  Did get the idea of international law  In 1979 Charles Fights internationalized political philosophy  Created classification that goes as follows: 1. Realism 2. Morality of state 3. Cosmopolitanism  It was picked up and used until 1990s  Realism is accepting Hobbesian state of nature, also becomes moral theory when become instruction to state leaders when the thing you are obliged to do is pursue natural interest, if you can do that by keeping the peace and agreement with allies, but if means resorting to war than you have moral obligation to do this because of state interest  Realists go as far to say having moral considerations creeping into foreign policy is dangerous, becoming too ideological  Realists hold that the reason that there are no reliable norms in IR is that every state has to be self-reliant  Every state in a state of insecurity, needs to be self-reliant to protect itself  Those who hold by morality of state (two versions) i. Legal International nationalist ii. Ethical ethics  they say realists are wrong, say that they are wrong norms are such things as: treaties, customary law  International law is not perfect, ought to have an ethic for how countries should be behaving towards each other  John Rawls approach –should respect international law including treaties you have signed  Realism referred to reality of Westphalian state system  Morality of state refers to ideally Westphalian state system  Cosmopolitan aims to get rid of Westphalian state system  Idealist –respect to international law was no means perfect, did not want international war to occur  Did not prevent war, Europe was war infested continent  Typically got war with aim to unify Europe as a whole  Graham’s system is idiosyncratic, same category of realism  Has legalism and moralism Legalism is simply legal morality of states; international law Also talking about certain break in international law, international criminal court Two types of court 1. International court of justice o Westphalian court, only court between states 2. International criminal court o Breaks rules, what happens inside country is an internal court o Internal matters are not internal anymore o To some extent starts to fall outside morality of state, starts to become cosmopolitanism  His discussion about domestic analogy, can you take ethical principles to be applicable as individuals, states like individuals, similar rules then should apply to states vs. cosmopolitanism analysis that we have moral obligations to other individuals beyond borders, state just agent that helps us carry out those obligations  In 1990s another distinction came up  Term internationalism involves confusions that has arisen since 19century between state and nation, when talk about international relations we mean interstate relations  How did we come to talk about internationalism, issue arose that every nation should have its own state  But because of the notion that a state should be there for every nation, if you don’t have that  Have to work to create its nation, what you often got that states worked to create nations  Focus to be on cosmopolitianism and realism faded into the background and what you got to partner cosmopolitianism is communitarianism  The kind of liberalism that John Rawls represented was challenged by communitarisns who claimed was too abstract  We inherit morality within society, lacks organic notion of society  At international level saw certain values that were lost in cosmopolitanism is rationalism that we can use to come up with universal values  Communitarism is pretty broad, compatible with socialism and fascism Strong sense of community and society, people to be subordinate in that particular society o Where as liberalism has people first and society serves individuals or requires revolutions o Will emphasis organic nature of society  Consequently there was a tendency for attached to morality of state  Have collective representation of society relating to that of other societies  Ethical nationalism or partialism as opposed to impartialism  Says we recognize certain obligations beyond borders are not the same as we have to our patriots  Sounds like it could be facists but it is not  David Miller says there are things we owe to our copatriots that we do not owe to those beyond our borders  Close to communitarism but a particular form  Subordinate pluralism Federalising ethics, certain things are held around the world and other things held locally  Natural law derives from Greece but picked up by Christian doctrine, used by Latin scholars. Position between utilitarianism and consequentialism and Kantian style deontology focused on duties on the other. Concerned with human well being in a particular kind of way. Obvious question is what is natural about this? Misleading label as it’s really divine law, law that sits behind human made law. (different conceptions of how we capture it ie: Thomas Aquinas) Gives arise to certain notions for rights, led Bentham to describe rights as nonsense on stilts (content of it) Bentham argues it’s not well grounded, while notion of happiness or well being is grounded as we all want it. Graham is more evidently Christian and Catholic Reading Questions 1.3.1. What is cosmopolitanism and what are the weak and strong versions of it? How is it related to global egalitarianism?  Cosmopolitanism that border have no border significance and all of humanity is the community  Strong versions –all share obligations equally as we are all equal. Weak –basic obligation that’s not necessarily equal.  Once start to articulate weak form, it starts to look like global minimalism. There are cross border obligations, but there are special obligations that don’t apply to those beyond our borders.  Global egalitarianism would be the strong version of
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