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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 21: Contemporary Communitarianism (II)

4.1 ( 11 )


Lecture Details

Moral Foundations of Politics (PLSC 118)

In this lecture, Professor Shapiro delves into the nuances of MacIntyres argument, focusing specifically on his Aristotelian account of human psychology. It has two features (1) mans nature is inherently teleological or purposive, and (2) human behavior is fundamentally other-directed, in that a persons happiness is conditioned upon the experience of others as it relates to him, particularly on the feeling of being valued by someone he values. MacIntyres account of human psychology also highlights its malleability and its contingency. There is the untutored, or raw, condition, and there is that of having realized ones telos. Ethics are how one evolves from the former to the latter, but MacIntyre notes that ethics are designed to improve behavior, not to describe or aggregate it. Therefore, they cannot be deduced from true statements about human nature; this is his criticism of the Enlightenment project. But he does concede the Enlightenment notion that human beings are capable of thinking critically about purposes and goals. However, this can only come from within a system of norms to have an effect on the people it is intended to influence. Thus, the anti-Enlightenment story subordinates the individual to the practice, to the group, and to the inherited system of norms and values.

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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