Moral and Political Philosophy

Course Level 2: Intermediate

Estimated Study Time: 50 hours

Course Number: PHIL103

Offered by: Saylor Academy

The following excerpt is from Saylor Academy’s course listing:

This course introduces the basic concepts and methods of moral and political philosophy. We focus on the development of moral reasoning and how to apply these ideas to contemporary social and political issues. Although the course is organized around the concept of justice, we will discuss a wide range of philosophical topics and perspectives.

We explore the value of human life, the moral standing of the free market, the notion of fundamental human rights, equality of opportunity, and the conditions for a moral community. We make extensive use of Michael Sandel’s lecture series on justice, which was delivered at Harvard University in 2009.

In addition to these lectures, we study several moral and political philosophers, such as Plato, Aristotle, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche, and John Rawls. We also examine the contemporary thinkers Alasdair MacIntyre, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others, news articles, and primary source texts on important legal decisions. By the end of the course, you will have a better understanding of the philosophical issues involved in many contemporary debates in the public sphere, and a refined sense of your own moral and political positions and intuitions.

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