“Is access to a decent minimum of health care a right? What do citizens of wealthy countries owe to citizens of poor countries? Can a society that does not allow for religious freedom ever be just? What kind of treatment is owed to non-human animals? These are complex, vexed but also very pressing questions. The first aim of this course is to introduce students to the most important theories of justice that provide orientation in addressing such questions in a rigorous, rational manner. The second aim of the course is to hone students’
critical thinking, writing and speaking skills so that they may argue for compelling, well-reasoned positions on matters of justice in a public policy context.
Readings will include essays and book chapters by John Stuart Mill, Mary Wollstonecraft, Karl Marx, Isaiah Berlin, John Rawls, Thomas Pogge, Peter Singer, Martha Nussbaum, Robert Nozick, and Joshua Cohen among others.
There will be frequent short writing assignments and classroom debates.
This will be a very lively class.”