Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory – Spring 2017


Spring Semester 2017

All classes meet in 202 Barrows Hall (unless otherwise noted), Fridays from 12:00pm-3:00pm. To request a copy of papers contact:

Course description:

This course is designed as a workshop for the presentation and discussion of work-in-progress in moral, political, and legal theory. The central aim of the course is to provide an opportunity for students to engage directly with philosophers, political theorists, and legal scholars working on normative questions. Another aim is to create a space that brings together people from different disciplines who have strong normative interests or who speak to issues that philosophers and political theorists should know something about.   Toward this goal, we will devote a few sessions to featuring the work of economists, historians, psychologists, sociologists, and other social scientists.

The format of the course will be as follows. For the first two hours of the course, a student will lead off with a 15-minute comment on the presenter’s paper and the presenter will have 5-10 minutes to respond before we open up the discussion to the entire assembled group.  The first two hours will be open to non-enrolled students and faculty who wish to participate in the workshop discussion. At the end of the two hours, those who are not enrolled will leave, and for the third hour of the course, the guest presenter will continue the discussion with students enrolled in the course.  Enrolled students must serve as a discussant for at least one presenter’s work-in-progress and write several short response papers and a final paper of 12-15 pages.  The course is cross-listed with the Philosophy and Political Science Departments.

January 13 Professor Joshua Cohen
Professor Christopher Kutz

Introductory meeting
(for enrolled students only)

January 20 Group trip to Stanford


Ideas that Matter: A Conference in Honor of the Work and Teachings of Joshua Cohen

Location: Arrillaga Alumni Center
Admission: Free and open to the public. 
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  6507366247

January 27

Jerry Gaus  
James E. Rogers
Professor of Philosophy
The University of Arizona
 “Self-organizing Moral Systems: 
Beyond Social Contract Theory
February 3 Kate A. Manne
Assistant Professor
Sage School of Philosophy
Cornell University

“Women, All Too Human”


February 10

Marion Fourcade
Professor, Sociology
UC Berkeley

“The Fly and the Cookie: on the Moral Economy of 21st Century Capitalism”
For a copy of the paper email:
February 17 Jed Purdy
Robinson O. Everett
Professor of Law
Duke Law School                 
 The New Inequality, the Great Forgetting, and the Long Environmental Justice Movement”

Note to Workshop Participants
and Optional Readings
February 24 Jennifer A. Doudna
Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology
UC Berkeley
 “Genome Engineering:
What It Is and
How It Changes the Future”

Professor Doudna will use the recent National Academy of Sciences and Medicine report on germline editing as the basis for her discussion of the ethics of genetic manipulation.  The Summary explains the basis of the Report’s recommendations.

Report Summary-Workshop Reading

Full Report

March 3 Julia Nefsky
Assistant Professor, Philosophy
University of Toronto
Consumer Choice and Collective Impact

Note and optional reading for workshop participants

March 10 Chiara Cordelli   
Assistant Professor, Political Science
University of Chicago  

“What is Wrong With Privatization?”

March 17 Charles Mills
Professor, Philosophy
The City University of New York (CUNY)
Racial Equality”
March 24 Emmanuel Saez
Professor of Economics
UC Berkeley
 “Distributional National Accounts:
Methods and Estimates for the
United States”

Co-authors: Piketty and Zucman
March 31 Spring Break  
April 7

Meir Dan-Cohen
Milo Reese Robbins Professor of Law
UC Berkeley

“Individuals, Citizens, and Persons”

Note to workshop participants

April 14 Rainer Forst
Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy
Goethe Universität

“The Justification of Basic Rights:
A Discourse-Theoretical Approach”

April 21 Lea Ypi
Professor in Political Theory–Government London School of Economics

Legitimacy dictatorship utopia a Marxist perspective on political obligation

Workshop Archives