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The Moral Foundations of Politics

Yale, , Prof. Ian Shapiro

Updated On 02 Feb, 19

Overview

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

Includes

Lecture 15: Compensation versus Redistribution

4.1 ( 11 )


Lecture Details

Moral Foundations of Politics (PLSC 118)

The classs examination of Nozicks minimal state has raised a number of important questions, most of which are rooted in his troublesome model of compensation. Nozicks would respond with his threefold account of justice (1) justice in acquisition, (2) justice in transfer, and (3) rectification of past injustices. Nozick brilliantly demonstrates that "liberty upsets patterns"--even thought we can originally start off with any just distribution, allowing voluntary transactions creates an unequal distribution of wealth. At some point, transactions actually stop being voluntary, however, when some would say the government should step in. But Nozick argues that because there is a deep pluralism of values and we cannot agree on what this point should be, we must keep this redistribution to an absolute minimum as not to impose anyones views on anyone else. This is how he distinguishes between redistribution and compensation. His model of compensation is backward-looking and doesnt require us to agree on a pattern. It asks what is necessary to make the harmed person whole again. Although addressing individual harms is easier than looking for a pattern applicable to society as whole, Nozick fails to address the question of how far backward we must look in compensating for past injustices.

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website httpopen.yale.educourses

This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

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Sam

Excellent course helped me understand topic that i couldn't while attendinfg my college.

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Dembe

Great course. Thank you very much.

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