Cecile FABRE, university of oxford/all souls college
B. Phil Class in Political Philosophy, Tuesdays, 11-1, Wharton Room, All Souls College. Cécile Fabre and Thomas Sinclair
This class is open and restrictedB.Phil students with an interest in moral, political and legal philosophy, subject to seating space in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. No exceptions will be made. If there is not enough space, priority will be given to first-year B. Phil students. You can sign up for the class here (the poll only lists Tuesday of week 1, which will take as standing for the whole series. Please enter your first and second names.)
The classes are organised into three broad themes:
Sources of power, authority and legitimacy
Students will be required to do the core readings. As a rule of thumb, you should allocate a day per week to do the required reading. The readings should be used as bases for formulating and defending your own views about the issues and arguments at hand.
Unless indicated otherwise by a *, the core readings mentioned below are available online via the Bodleian Libraries’ online resources. In addition to all the readings mentioned here, students are encouraged to consult the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http://plato.stanford.edu), the International Encyclopedia of Ethics (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/9781444367072) . Beware however of merely rehashing the entries, and of dispensing with actually reading the primary sources, when you prepare your presentations or write essays. The SEP should be used as a road map only, not as a substitute for proper philosophical work. Other good resources include podcasts on Philosophy Bites, as well as on Political Philosophy Podcasts, which together have over three hundreds of interviews with philosophers on an astonishing range of topics. The podcasts are free to download. Be aware that audio content is subect to plagiarism rules, so do not cite an interviewee without properly referencing the podcast.
IF YOU ARE NEW TO CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY The following books will help you make sense of the discipline:
- W. Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2002, 2nd edition). The book goes through the major 'schools of thought' in contemporary political philosophy (liberalism, communitarianism, multiculturalism, libertarianism, feminism.) - A. Swift, Political Philosophy: A Beginner's Guide for Students and Politicians (Polity Press, 2013, 3rd edition). The book is organised around concepts (justice, liberty, democracy, etc.) - J. Wolff, Introduction to Political Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2015, 3rd edition). Similar to Swift's in its approach though has more about the state and the justification for authority.
For good advice on how to write in philosophy in general, and political philosophy in particular, you might want to read chapters 2 and 2 in A. Blau (ed) Methods in Analytical Political Theory (Cambridge: CUP, 2017). Ch 3 in particular - a piece by Kimberley Brownlee and Zosia Stemplowska -looks at the issues raised by the use of hypothetical examples and thought experiments in philosophy.
1. Political realism Key questions: is the dominant contemporary Anglophone analytical philosophical approach to political theory fundamentally misguided? Are the moral and political realms fundamentally different?
Core reading Bernard Williams, ‘Realism and Moralism in Political Theory’, in his In the Beginning Was the Deed(Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2005) Alice Baderin, ‘Two forms of realism in political theory’, European Journal of Political Theory 13 (2014): 132–153
Further reading William Galston, ‘Realism in political theory’, European Journal of Political Theory 9 (2010): 385–411 Jonathan Leader Maynard and Alex Worsnip, ‘Is There a Distinctively Political Normativity?’, Ethics 128 (2018): 756–787 Bernard Williams, ‘The Liberalism of Fear’ and ‘Human Rights and Relativism’, in his In the Beginning Was the Deed (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2005) Lorna Finlayson, The Political is Political (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), chapter 5 Raymond Geuss, Philosophy and Real Politics (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2008) Chantal Mouffe, On the Political (London: Routledge, 2005), chapter 2
2. Executive power and discretion Key questions: what is the source of the executive’s authority? What are its proper purposes and means, and what limits are there?
Core reading John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, chapters 12–14 Philip Pettit, On the People’s Terms (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), chapter 5 John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, revised edition (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999), section 43
Further reading Arthur Ripstein, Force and Freedom (Harvard UP, 2009), chapters 6–7 B. Sharon Byrd and Joachim Hruschka, Kant’s Doctrine of Right: A Commentary (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 146–157. Bertrand de Jouvenel, Sovereignty, trans. J. F. Huntingdon (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1997), chapters 3–5
3. Privatization Key questions: which institutions are best placed to (a) enforce norms, (b) deliver essential services? The state? Private corporations? Individuals? When if ever is outsourcing morally objectionable?
Core readings Alon Harel, Why Law Matters, ch. 3. (OUP, 2016), ch. 3. Either: *Friedrich. A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty (Univ of Chicago Press, 1960), ch.15, or *Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, Utopia (Blackwell, 1974), ch.5.
Further readings Cecile Fabre, 'In Defence of Mercenarism', British Journal of Political Science 40 (2010) F. A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty (U of Chicago Press, 1960) Jack Knight and Melissa Schwartzberg (Eds) NOMOS LX- Privatization (NYU Press, 2018) Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State and Utopia (Blackwell, 1974).
4. Legitimate injustice Key questions: can unjust laws and policies be legitimately made and pursued by governments and legislatures? If so, how? If not, what space is there for democratic discretion?
Core reading Zofia Stemplowska and Adam Swift, ‘Dethroning Democratic Legitimacy’, in Sobel, Wall, and Vallentyne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 4 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018) Daniel Viehoff, ‘Legitimacy as a Right to Err’, NOMOS LXI (forthcoming)
Further reading Laura Valentini, ‘Justice, Disagreement and Democracy’, British Journal of Political Science 43 (2012): 177–199 Daniel Viehoff, ‘Serving the Governed: The Truth in Political Instrumentalism’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (2016–17) Renée Bolinger, ‘Revisiting the Right to do Wrong’, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2017): 43–57
5. Justice and race Key questions: What is the core wrong of racial injustice? What does racial justice require? Is it consistent with liberalism? Does thinking about racial justice require a radical departure from contemporary analytical political philosophy?
Core reading Tommie Shelby, ‘Race and Social Justice: Rawlsian Considerations’, Fordham Law Review72 (2004): 1697–1714. Charles W. Mills, The Racial Contract(Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1997), chapters 1–2
Further reading Tommie Shelby, ‘Racial Realities and Corrective Justice: A Reply to Charles Mills’, Critical Philosophy of Race1 (2013): 145–162. Charles Mills, ‘“Ideal Theory” as Ideology’, Hypatia 20 (2005): 165–184. Lawrence Blum, "I'm not a Racist, But..." The Moral Quandary of Race(Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2002), chapter 8 Elizabeth Anderson, The Imperative of Integration (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2010) Sara Amighetti and Alasia Nuti, ‘Towards a Shared Redress: Achieving Historical Justice Through Democratic Deliberation’, The Journal of Political Philosophy 23 (2015): 385–405. Bernard R. Boxill, ‘A Lockean Argument for Black Reparations’, The Journal of Ethics7 (2003): 63–91. Andrew I. Cohen, ‘Compensation for Historic Injustices: Completing the Boxill and Sher Argument’, Philosophy & Public Affairs 37 (2009): 81–102. Catherine Lu, ‘Colonialism as Structural Injustice: Historical Responsibility and Contemporary Redress’, The Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (2011): 261–281. Tommie Shelby, ‘Justice & Racial Conciliation: Two Visions’, Daedelus 140 (2011): 95–107.
6.Justice and Immigration Key questions: is freedom of association a good - the only - justification for closing borders? Is a requirement to open borders a requirement of justice?
Core readings Joseph Carens, The Ethics of Immigration (OUP 2015), ch. 3. Christopher H. Wellman 'Immigration and Freedom of Association', Ethics 119 (2008): 109-141
Further readings Arash Abizadeh, ‘Democratic Theory and Border Coercion: No Right to Unilaterally Control Your Own Borders’ Political Theory 36 (2008): 37-65. Sarah Fine ‘Freedom of Association Is Not the Answer’, Ethics 120 (2010): 338-356. Sarah Fine and Lea Ypi (eds) (2016) Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership (Oxford: Oxford University Press) Miller, David Strangers in our Midst (Harvard UP, 2016).
7. Reparative justice Key questions : do we owe reparative duties to those whom we have wronged in the past? What is the content of those duties? Does the passing of time make a difference to the stringency and content of those duties?
Core readings Jana Thompson "Historical Injustice and Reparation: Justifying Claims of Descendants." Ethics 112 (2001): 114-35. Jeremy Waldron "Superseding Historic Injustice." Ethics 103 (1992): 4-28.
Further readings Bernard Boxill. "A Lockean Argument for Black Reparations." The Journal of Ethics 7 (2003): 63-91. Daniel Butt, Rectifying International Injustice (OUP, 2009) Robert Nozick. Anarchy, State, and Utopia, (New York: Basic Books, 1974), pp. 152-153 and 230-231 Avia Pasternak, 'Voluntary Benefits from Wrongdoing', Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (2014): 377-391. Eric Posner and Adrian Vermule. ‘Reparations for Slavery and Other Historical Injustices’, Columbia Law Review 103 (2003): 689-748. George Sher. "Ancient Wrongs and Modern Rights." Philosophy & Public Affairs 10 (1981): 3-17. George Sher."Transgenerational Compensation." Philosophy & Public Affairs 33, no. 2 (2005): 181-200. A.J. Simmons. "Historical Rights and Fair Shares." Philosophy & Public Affairs 14 (1995): 149-84.
8. Justice and future generations Key questions: What obligations, if any, do members of one generation owe to future generations? May governments discount the interests of future generations? Do those currently alive owe different duties to overlapping generations than they do to those in the far future? Do future people have rights? Is the non-identity problem a decisive objection to the claim that we owe duties to future generations?
Core readings *Brian Barry ‘Justice Between Generations’ in Liberty and Justice: Essays in Political Theory Volume 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991), pp.242-258. Also in Law, Morality and Society. Essays in Honor of H. L. A. Hart, P.M.S. Hacker and Joseph Raz (eds.) (Oxford: Clarendon Press), pp.268–284. Derek Parfit Reasons and Persons (OUO, 1984), Part IV especially chapter 16 ‘The Non-Identity Problem’. *John Rawls Justice as Fairness: A Restatement(Harvard UP 2001) pp.159-161.
Further readings Juliana Bidadanure ‘Making Sense of Age-Group Justice: A Time for Relational Equality?’, Politics, Philosophy and Economics 15 (2016): 234-260. Axel Gosseries and Lukas Meyer (eds) Intergenerational Justice (OUP, 2009). Jane English. ‘Justice Between Generations’, Philosophical Studies 31 (1977): 91–104. Jeffrey Reiman. ‘Being Fair to Future People: The Non-Identity Problem in the Original Position’, Philosophy & Public Affairs 35 (2007): 69–92.