Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 480: Social and Political Philosophy

PHIL 480: Social and Political Philosophy

The Generic Catalog Description

This course examines such topics as theories of justice, the nature of the state, critiques and justifications of economic systems, the status of human rights, conceptions of liberty and democracy, the rationale for punishment, and issues of race, gender, and class.

PHIL 480: Social and Political Philosophy: Liberalism and Feminism 

David Ingram

This course will examine the liberal and feminist traditions in contemporary social and political philosophy.  We will begin by considering the foundational liberal social contract theory of John Rawls.  We will then address the ways that feminists have incorporated and rejected liberal thought within their theories of justice and care.  The course will also address radical feminist approaches that question the dominant liberal rights-based framework.  We will consider issues such as distributive justice and the family, the gendered basis for care and caregiving, multiculturalism and feminism, and liberal versus radical feminist positions on pornography.  Readings for the course will draw from the Anglo-American tradition in philosophy, possibly including works by authors such as John Rawls, Susan Moller Okin, Martha Nussbaum, Eva Kittay, Catharine MacKinnon, and Shulamith Firestone.

PHIL 480: Social and Political Philosophy: Feminist Thought

Julie Ward

The focus of this graduate course will be on feminist social and political thought from a historical, philosophical perspective. Accordingly, we read texts spanning various historical periods from the Greeks through present day thinkers. Representative texts include classic Greek tragedies about women, including Sophocles' Antigone, Euripedes' Medea and Bacchae. In this segment of the class, we also read parts of Plato's Republic. Next, we move to consider central feminist texts such as Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman and Mill's Subjection of Women. The lesser-known text by Engels, Origin of the Family, will be included here. For 20th century thinkers, we read a number of C. P. Gilman's literary works as well as Emma's Goldman's classic Traffic in Women, and Beauvoir's The Second Sex, ending with recent feminist philosophers like Sandra Bartky.

Reading List: Sophocles, Antigone ; Euripedes, Bacchae, Medea ; Aristophanes, Lysistrata; Plato, Republic; Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Women ; Mill, Subjection of Women; Engels, Origin of the Family; Gilman, Herland; Goldman, Traffic in Women; Beauvoir, The Second Sex; Tong, Feminist Thought.

One class presentation on readings, and one long or two short argument papers based on textual analysis.

This section of Phil. 480 is cross-listed with WOST 401, History of Feminist Thought.

PHIL 480: Topics in Political Philosophy: Globalization Ethics

David Ingram

In this course we will explore economic and cultural issues of globalization, with particular attention to their normative dimensions of economic and cultural issues such as nationalism, colonialism, immigration,  cultural identity, group rights, and related topics such as global ecology.

We will draw on a variety of sources, including videos as well as books and articles. We will begin the course with excerpts from classic works such as Aristotle's Politics, Rousseau's Social Contract, Immanuel Kant's Perpetual Peace, and perhaps Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels's Communist Manifesto We will then look at texts from contemporary authors such as John Rawls. Jurgen Habermas, Thomas Pogge, Iris young, and  Seyla Benhabib.  The readings will be supplemented with several videos about some of the disturbing by-products of globalization.

This class will meet with Dr. Wren's graduate seminar (PHIL 327) for lectures and video presentations, though not for the many scheduled discussion sessions (roughly, every third meeting). 

PHIL 480: Social and Political Philosophy: Recent Feminist and Social Political Philosophy

Diana Meyers

This seminar focuses on issues concerning global justice – e.g., the feminization of survival, sex trafficking, exporting/importing care work, women’s rights as human rights, and the role of empathy and sympathy in addressing injustice.