Notes: Evaluating Social Theories
I. Evaluating Social Theories
@ Rational evaluation is comparative: It doesnt matter if x is good absolutely. It matters if x is better than
the feasible alternatives.
@ Rational evaluation is comprehensive: A
Notes: Hobbes & the State of Nature
Biographical note: 17th-century British philosopher. One of the originators of the social contract theory.
Author of Leviathan, a long book on political philosophy & the social contract theory.
Notes: Marxism, Alienation
To Discuss Today
@ Intuitive motivations for criticizing capitalism
@ Marxs theory of alienation
I. Why Study Marxism?
@ Historical reasons:
Marx was perhaps the most influential political philosopher in history.
Notes: Introduction, irrationality
@ Distribute syllabus, readings.
@ Discuss course requirements.
I. The problem of political disagreement
@ Features of political disagreements:
Notes: Rawls Theory of Distributive Justice
I. Basic Concepts
Distributive Justice: Justice in the distribution of goods/wealth.
Patterned/end-state conceptions of distributive justice: Say there is some overall pattern of distribution we
Notes: The Authority of Democracy (Christiano)
I. The Concept of Political Authority
@ Political obligation: People are obligated to obey the law because it is the law.
@ Political legitimacy: The state is entitled to make laws and enforce them