Social and Political Issues
Contemporary political philosophy asks these questions:
1. Who gets what? Distribution of ‘goods’?
2. Says who? (Who is in charge, who distributes political power?)
Equality Liberals Free Market
“Every plausible political theory has the same ultimate or foundational value which is equality.”
What theory has the best conception of equality?
This means that equality is the starting point
Equality might be an intrinsic value
Intrinsic/inherent value: Something that is valuable in and of itself.
Instrumental value: Something that is valuable as a means to an end. (Money)
Equality as foundational: the idea that equality Is intrinsically valuable and the foundation of
any reasonable political theory.
Logic is the study of inference of inferential reasoning about what follows from what.
Arguments in philosophy are totally unlike the arguments you have with a friend or family
member. We usually mean a fight.
A argument is a verbally articulated expression of reasoning. In logic, an argument is not
disagreement or quarrel.
**An argument consists of a set of sentences consisting of one of more premises, which contains
the evidence, and a conclusion, which is supposed to follow the premises. **
Here is an example of an argument:
Socrates is a man (premise)
All men are mortal (premise)
Thus, Socrates is mortal good in itself ,
Libertarian view: the free market is inherently just and redistributive
taxation is inherently wrong…a violation of people’s rights
People have the right to dispose freely of their goods and services and they have this right
whether or not it I the best way to ensure productivity
Rawls Says: if you have nothing to give, you still shouldn’t starve
Noziak’s view: If you are entitled to what you currently own, no one is entitled to take
anything away from you Robert Nozick’s entitlement theory:
If we assume that each person is entitled to the goods they currently posses (their
holdings), then a just distribution is simply whatever distribution results form peoples free
1. A principle of transfer: Whatever is justly acquired can be freely transferred.
Issues: How do you acquire something legitimately
2. A principle of just initial acquisition: an account of how people came in