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215.5 sec. 1 - Foundations of Political Philosophy (Spring 2014)

Instructor: Sarah Song  (view instructor's teaching evaluations | profile)
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Units: 3
Meeting Time: M 2:10-5:00
Meeting Location: 2240 Piedmont

Course Start: January 06, 2014
Course End: December 31, 2069
Class Number (formerly Course Control Number) (Non-1Ls): 49553

This course aims to introduce students to some central topics and approaches in political philosophy through close reading of texts and with some attention to developing a toolkit for normative analysis of law and legal institutions. We will focus on the concepts of citizenship and rights as well as explore connections between the two. Some of the questions we will pursue include: How should we conceive of citizenship -- as a formal political and legal status; entitlement to a set of rights; active participation in self-governance; an identity; or something else entirely? How have racial, ethnic, gender, and class identities and hierarchies shaped people's access to rights? Which rights and protections have historically been attached to citizenship status? What difference _should_ citizenship status make for the rights one is entitled to? Are there any human rights, and how might they be justified? Do we have special obligations to our fellow citizens to protect certain rights that we don't have to the rest of humanity? What does it mean to have a right in the first place? Most of our readings are by political and legal theorists and philosophers; we will also read some work by historians, political scientists, and sociologists for historical context and background. While much of our seminar discussion will focus on the substantive ideas and arguments in the readings, we will also reflect on the methods and approaches of the theorists we read.

This course may satisfy the Writing Requirement.

Exam Notes: P
Course Category: Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP)
This course is cross-listed in the following categories:
Law and Society
Legal Theory and History

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A reader will be used in this class.

Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.

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