Justice, one of the most famous courses taught at Harvard College, is an introduction to moral and political philosophy, offering an opportunity to discuss contemporary dilemmas and controversies.
Harvard College is proud to relaunch this introduction to Justice with new videos and discussion forums in multiple languages!
Taught by lauded Harvard professor Michael Sandel, Justice explores critical analysis of classical and contemporary theories of justice, including discussion of present-day applications. Topics include affirmative action, income distribution, same-sex marriage, the role of markets, debates about rights (human rights and property rights), arguments for and against equality, dilemmas of loyalty in public and private life. The course invites learners to subject their own views on these controversies to critical examination.
The principal readings for the course are texts by Aristotle, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and John Rawls. Other assigned readings include writings by contemporary philosophers, court cases, and articles about political controversies that raise philosophical questions.
Closed Captioning and discussion forums are available in Chinese, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
What you'll learn:
- The fundamentals of political philosophy
- An understanding of social justice and criminal justice, and the roles they play in the modern justice system
- A deeper sense of the philosophy that underlies modern issues such as affirmative action, same sex marriage, and equality
- The ability to better articulate and evaluate philosophical arguments and ask philosophical questions
If you really care about the big questions in the economies and societies of the 21st century, such as distributive justice - namely, inequality of income or wealth, and its correlation with economic growth - this course is meant for you. The knowledge you will gain can truly change your outlook on our world.
What is the purpose of government? Why should we have a State? What kind of State should we have? Even within a political community, there may be sharp disagreements about the role and purpose of government. Some want an active, involved government, seeing legal and political institutions as the means to solve our most pressing problems, and to help bring about peace, equality, justice, happiness, and to protect individual liberty. Others want a more minimal government, motivated, perhaps, by some of the disastrous political experiments of the 20th Century, and the thought that political power is often just a step away from tyranny. In many cases, these disagreements arise out of deep philosophical disagreements.