POLISCI 1020E Chapter 1

POLISCI 1020E Chapter 1 - POLISCI 1020E: Chapter 1 Who gets...

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POLISCI 1020E: Chapter 1 Who gets what? The distribution of material goods, rights and liberties On what basis should people possess property? Says who? The distribution of political power John Locke defines political power as the right of making laws with penalties of death and consequently all less penalties The right to command others To subject them if they disobey Who should hold this power? Few obtain political power because of their wealth Those who are poor find themselves rich after obtaining political power Should there be a connection between wealth and power? People with legitimate political power has the right to force anyone do a certain thing Laws exist to protect the innocent The political philosopher Identify the anarchist’s plea for autonomy and the authoritarian’s claim for the power of the state To determine the correct balance between autonomy and authority The proper distribution of power Political philosophy Is a normative discipline Used to establish norms (rules or idea standards) Contrast the normative with the descriptive Descriptive studies try to find out how things are Normative studies try to find out how things should be What is right, just, or morally correct Politics can be studies from both a descriptive and a normative standpoint Political scientists Ask the question about actual distribution of goods within a given society who in where holds wealth or power? What rule or principle should govern the distribution of goods Property, power, rights and liberty Ask not how is property distributed, but what would be a just or fair distribution of property Not what rights or liberties do people have, but what should they have What ideal standards, or norms should govern the distribution of goods within society Normative and Descriptive Does not quite have a clear line drawn between the two Who holds wealth? The distribution is relevant to normative questions about justice Who holds string? Inequalities in the possession of string are of no political interest
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Human behavior often straddles the line between normative and descriptive Most people believe they ought to obey the law Studying how things are helps to explain how things can be, and studying how they can be is indispensable for assessing how they ought to be How things ought to be? We go and look Examine whether propositions are self-contradictory, or whether two or more propositions are logically consistent Surprising theses can be derived from obvious ones, which present argument Agnosticism In philosophy, this is a respectable position In political philosophy, this is a self-defeating position It is hard to argue the solution to free will in a society Because a society distributes power and property in one way or another, regardless if someone or no one holds power But we all have our say, whether it is by voting or debates,
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POLISCI 1020E Chapter 1 - POLISCI 1020E: Chapter 1 Who gets...

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