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Justice and the Political

Semester and Year FA 2015
Course Number IDSEM-UG1608
Section 001
Instructor Justin Holt
Days F
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   HUM



Justice is often understood as a concept that structures political life, by indicating who should be enfranchised, how to rule fairly, who should be punished and how. Even more broadly, "justice" indicates what constitutes a common good as well as who should benefit (and how) from collective actions. But how is the definition of justice established and implemented? Does justice denote a transcendent standard we access by philosophy or by revelation and then "apply" to and in political life? Or is any definition of justice necessarily shaped by political struggles by actors with contrasting interests and points of views ? Must we escape politics to determine justice rightly, or is that an impossible and ultimately tyrannical idea? But if we define justice through politics, is what we call justice necessarily going to be the rule of the strong? This course will consider three attempts to define justice that also explore its relationship to politics: Plato's  Republic , Kant's  Groundwork for a Metaphysics of Morals , Hegel's  Philosophy of Right .


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Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)