The Moral Foundations of Politics
Yale, , Prof. Ian Shapiro
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Updated On 02 Feb, 19
Information and Housekeeping - Natural Law Roots of the Social Contract Tradition - Origins of Classical Utilitarianism - Classical Utilitarianism and Distributive Justice - From Classical to Neoclassical Utilitarianism - The Neoclassical Synthesis of Rights and Utility - Limits of the Neoclassical Synthesis - The Marxian Challenge - Marx's Theory of Capitalism - Marxian Exploitation and Distributive Justice - The Marxian Failure and Legacy - Appropriating Locke Today - Rights as Side Constraints and the Minimal State - Compensation versus Redistribution - The Rawlsian Social Contract - Distributive Justice and the Welfare State - The "Political-not-Metaphysical" Legacy - The Burkean Outlook - Democracy and Majority Rule - Democratic Justice: Theory,Applications
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Moral Foundations of Politics (PLSC 118)
Today, Professor Shapiro dives more deeply into Robert Nozicks theory of the minimal, or night watchman, state. This formulation is not redistributive, nor does it consider rights as goals, but rather as side-constraints on what we can do. In other words, Nozicks is a deontological, not teleological, approach. However, the Achilles heel of this formulation is the incorporation of independents, based on a system of compensation. Some people will opt not to enter into our hypothetical social contract, but for the dominant protective association to protect its members from the fear of these independents, they must be forced to incorporate. Nozick thinks that if members could compensate the independents for this rights violation, it would legitimize the state. Unfortunately, no one has ever solved the puzzle of compensation without some interpersonal comparison of utility. But another way to salvage Nozicks account is with the Kantian dictum "ought entails can," meaning that since independents cannot be tolerated, it cannot be an obligation not to violate their rights. But what if the independents could compensate the members for their fear? And couldnt this compensation model be used to justify the welfare state as well? Isnt the value of consent, in which Nozicks account is rooted, completely violated here?
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website httpopen.yale.educourses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.
Sep 12, 2018
Excellent course helped me understand topic that i couldn't while attendinfg my college.
March 29, 2019
Great course. Thank you very much.