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1 - 3 of 3 results for: POLISCI338

POLISCI 338: Universal Basic Income: the philosophy behind the proposal (ETHICSOC 174B, ETHICSOC 274B, PHIL 174B, PHIL 274B, POLISCI 134E)

Universal basic income (or UBI) is a regular cash allowance given to all members of a community without means test, regardless of personal desert, and with no strings attached. Once a utopian proposal, the policy is now discussed and piloted throughout the world. The growth of income and wealth inequalities, the precariousness of labor, and the persistence of abject poverty have all been important drivers of renewed interest in UBI in the United States. But it is without a doubt the fear that automation may displace workers from the labor market at unprecedented rates that explains the revival of the policy in recent years, including by many in or around Silicon Valley. Among the various objections to the proposal, one concerns its moral adequacy: Isn't it fundamentally unjust to give cash to all indiscriminately rather than to those who need it and deserve it? Over the years, a variety of scholars have defended the policy on moral grounds, arguing that UBI is a tool of equality, liber more »
Universal basic income (or UBI) is a regular cash allowance given to all members of a community without means test, regardless of personal desert, and with no strings attached. Once a utopian proposal, the policy is now discussed and piloted throughout the world. The growth of income and wealth inequalities, the precariousness of labor, and the persistence of abject poverty have all been important drivers of renewed interest in UBI in the United States. But it is without a doubt the fear that automation may displace workers from the labor market at unprecedented rates that explains the revival of the policy in recent years, including by many in or around Silicon Valley. Among the various objections to the proposal, one concerns its moral adequacy: Isn't it fundamentally unjust to give cash to all indiscriminately rather than to those who need it and deserve it? Over the years, a variety of scholars have defended the policy on moral grounds, arguing that UBI is a tool of equality, liberal freedom, republican freedom, gender equity, or racial equity. Many others have attacked UBI on those very same grounds, making the case that alternative policy proposals like the job guarantee, means-tested benefits, conditional benefits, or reparations should be preferred. Students will learn a great deal about political theory and ethics in general but always through the specific angle of the policy proposal, and they will become experts on the philosophy, politics and economics of UBI. The seminar is open to undergraduate and graduate students in all departments. There are no pre-requisites.
Last offered: Winter 2020 | Repeatable for credit

POLISCI 338B: Unequal Relationships (ETHICSOC 378B, PHIL 378B)

Over the past three decades, a relational egalitarian conception of equality has emerged in political philosophy. Proponents of the view argue that the point of equality is to establish communities whose members are able to stand and relate as equals. This entails building societies free from a variety of modes of relating that are thought to be detrimental to our status as moral equals. The list of those inegalitarian relationships is long: oppression, domination, exploitation, marginalization, objectification, demonization, infantilization, stigmatization, etc. The graduate seminar will introduce students to the rich literature on equality in contemporary political philosophy, with a special focus on identifying and scrutinizing unequal relationships. Each week will be centered on a specific unequal relationship, trying to understand how it operates, what social function it serves, and what makes it specifically harmful or wrongful to groups and individuals. Advanced undergraduate students will be considered and should email the PI to communicate their interest. 2 unit option only for Phil PhDs beyond the second year.
Terms: Win | Units: 2-4

POLISCI 338E: The Problem of Evil in Literature, Film, and Philosophy (FRENCH 265)

Conceptions of evil and its nature and source, distinctions between natural and moral evil, and what belongs to God versus to the human race have undergone transformations reflected in literature and film. Sources include Rousseau's response to the 1755 Lisbon earthquake; Hannah Arendt's interpretation of Auschwitz; Günther Anders' reading of Hiroshima; and current reflections on looming climatic and nuclear disasters. Readings from Rousseau, Kant, Dostoevsky, Arendt, Anders, Jonas, Camus, Ricoeur, Houellebeck, Girard. Films by Lang, Bergman, Losey, Hitchcock.
Last offered: Autumn 2021
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