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PHIL 70: Egalitarianism

Egalitarianism is a conception of justice that takes the value of equality to be of primary political and moral importance. There are many different ways to be an egalitarian - it all depends on what we take to be the currency of egalitarian justice. Are we trying to equalize basic rights and liberties, or resources, opportunities, welfare, capabilities? This class will introduce students to the theory of egalitarian and anti-egalitarian thought by looking both at the history of egalitarian thinking and at contemporary accounts in defense of the value of equality. It will provide an in depth introduction to the concepts that are used when inequalities are discussed by philosophers, economists, scientists and politicians.n nWe will read, for instance, on the Code Noir and the abolitionist movement; we will learn from the 19thcentury debate on racial inequalities to understand how anti-egalitarian discourses are constructed; and we will look into Rousseau¿s conception of social equality in the Second Discourse and the Social Contract. The class will also engage with contemporary egalitarian theories by studying Rawlsian and post-Rawlsian forms of egalitarianism (including discussions of the fair equality of opportunity principle, the difference principle, the luck egalitarianism vs relational egalitarianism debate, etc.) By the end of the class, students will be able to understand and critically assess contemporary inequalities, as well as economic and political discourses on inequalities.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER
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