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1 - 3 of 3 results for: POLISCI135

POLISCI 135: Citizenship (ETHICSOC 135, PHIL 135X)

This class begins from the core definition of citizenship as membership in a political community and explores the many debates about what that membership means. Who is (or ought to be) a citizen? Who gets to decide? What responsibilities come with citizenship? Is being a citizen analogous to being a friend, a family member, a business partner? How can citizenship be gained, and can it ever be lost? These debates figure in the earliest recorded political philosophy but also animate contemporary political debates. This class uses ancient, medieval, and modern texts to examine these questions and different answers given over time. We¿Äôll pay particular attention to understandings of democratic citizenship but look at non-democratic citizenship as well. Students will develop and defend their own views on these questions, using the class texts as foundations. No experience with political philosophy is required or expected, and students can expect to learn or hone the skills (writing / reading / analysis) of political philosophy.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER, WAY-SI

POLISCI 135D: The Ethics of Democratic Citizenship (ETHICSOC 135R)

We usually think about democratic citizenship in terms of rights and opportunities, but are these benefits of democracy accompanied by special obligations? Do citizens of a democracy have an obligation to take an interest in politics and to actively influence political decision making? How should citizens respond when a democracy¿s laws become especially burdensome? Do citizens of a democracy have a special obligation to obey the law? In this course, we will read classical and contemporary political philosophy including Plato's Crito and King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" to explore how political thinkers have understood and argued for the ethics of citizenship. Students in this course will draw on these materials to construct their own arguments, and to identify and assess implicit appeals to the ethics of citizenship in popular culture and contemporary public discourse, from The Simpsons to President Obama's speeches.
Last offered: Winter 2016 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER

POLISCI 135E: Philosophy of Public Policy (ETHICSOC 175X, PHIL 175B, PHIL 275B, POLISCI 235E, PUBLPOL 177)

From healthcare to voting reforms, social protection and educational policies, public policies are underpinned by moral values. When we debate those policies, we typically appeal to values like justice, fairness, equality, freedom, privacy, and safety. A proper understanding of those values, what they mean, how they may conflict, and how they can be weighed against each other is essential to developing a competent and critical eye on our complex political world. We will ask questions such as: Is compulsory voting justified? Should children have the right to vote? Is affirmative action just? What is wrong with racial profiling? What are the duties of citizens of affluent countries towards migrants? Do we have a right to privacy? Is giving cash to all unconditionally fair? This class will introduce students to a number of methods and frameworks coming out of ethics and political philosophy and will give students a lot of time to practice ethically informed debates on public policies. At the end of this class, students should have the skills to critically examine a wide range of diverse policy proposals from the perspective of ethics, moral and political philosophy. There are no prerequisites. Undergraduates and graduates from all departments are welcome to attend.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER
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