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PHIL 176M: Collective Responsibility and Social Change (PHIL 276M)

Grad students enroll in 276M. What is social change, and how does it work? What, if anything, is our responsibility to contribute to change? Are each of us, as individuals, responsible for contributing to the changes we would like to see (e.g., regarding climate change, inequality, oppression, etc.)? How can that be, if the problems are so huge and our individual contributions so tiny? Are groups (e.g., states, corporations, social classes, racial groups, etc.), as such, responsible for change? How can that be, if responsibility only attaches to agents? Can groups themselves be agents? That seems to require that groups themselves have beliefs and desires. How is that possible? Must groups be agents in order to be responsible for their (collective) behavior, or is group responsibility fundamentally different from individual, personal responsibility? If groups can be responsible (e.g., for climate change), what implications follow for the individuals that comprise the group? How, if at all, is responsibility for what a group does distributed to group members? Can individuals have a duty to create a group, where creating a group is what is required to bring about social change? In this class we will discuss these and related questions.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4
Instructors: Madigan, T. (PI)
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