PHIL 301 Philosophy, Power, and Politics

Spring, Fall
4

In an attempt to make sense of our political interests, we often use shorthand. That is, we identify with a group of like-minded individuals who seem to share at least some of our interests--examples of these ideologies include, but are not limited to, liberalism, conservatism, communitarianism, libertarianism, capitalism, socialism, communism, Marxism, feminism, anarchism, environmentalism, and anti-racism. In this course, we examine some of the modern ideologies—organized and related sets of ideas about politics that support and modify each other helping to forge political alliances and social movements. Each of these ideologies posits a certain account of human nature, the good life, the proper balance between freedom and equality, the nature of power, the evidence of prosperity, and the role of government. Each of these ideologies, and those individuals who espouse them, promise to make the lives of their constituents better than they are in the present. These ideologies are premised on tradeoffs, preferences, and differing accounts of human flourishing. Students who have completed POLS 214 may not enroll in PHIL 301.