Adam Daniel Moore
A study of philosophical topics at the advanced level. Topics vary.
The central normative problem of political philosophy is this: How, if at all, can political authority be justified? A wide variety of answers have been proposed. Some have said that political authority is founded on some sort of agreement; others that it is justified by good consequences; and others, of course, have denied that it is justified at all. In exploring this question we will focus on the writings of Locke, Mill, Hayek, Nozick, and others. In addition, we will consider the nature and the proper limits of political authority. For example, Nozick once famously claimed that "taxation is on a par with forced labor." It is estimated that individuals in America work 5 months of the year to pay for the entitlements handed out by government. What justifies this sort of redistribution – social justice or rectification for past wrongs? Should the benefits and burdens of social interaction be distributed via a free market or in some other way? My hope is that by engaging libertarian answers to these questions students will sharpen their reasoning and critical thinking skills, become better speakers and writers, and most importantly, critically evaluate their own beliefs and views. TEXTS: No Textbook Required.
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