Jean Valerie Roberts
Asks what makes social policies and institutions morally acceptable, primarily through a discussion about justice and injustice. Topics include: relativism, the sources of competing conceptions of justice and equality, cost-benefit analysis, distributive justice and beneficence.
This course aims to introduce graduate and professional students from a wide range of backgrounds to some basic moral questions about social structures and institutions. In particular, most of the discussion will center on various questions about justice, broadly construed as the basic virtue of social institutions. Students will be provided with a conceptual framework for thinking about the increasingly familiar difficulties that arise in any attempt to fashion fair and decent policies in various areas of our lives. Sample topics: cost-benefit analysis, equality, pluralism, relativism, fairness, social choice theory, oppressive polities, rights, beneficence and distributive justice. Topics may vary depending on the particular interests of enrolled students. This course is a required core course for the Graduate Certificate in Values in Society.
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