International Relations HW
Rationality is understanding that international politics required that people make assumptions
about how leaders choose actions and objectives, as well as making the assumption of individual
Utilitarianism says that, of the actions open to you, the
morally correct one is that which brings about the most
overall utility (=happiness).
Founder of utilitarianism = Bentham (1748-1832).
Bentham: Subjects should obey so long as the
Is Our Economic Prosperity Being Shared?
CEO Compensation: Business Week annual executive pay surveys. S&P 500 Index: Standard and Poors Corporation.
Corporate Profits: Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Income and Disposition of Personal Income Data.
What is The State?
An influential definition by Max Weber (1864-1920),
according to which we define the state (the government)
by its characteristic means, not its ends (i.e. goals):
a state is a human community that
(successfully) claims the monopoly of
Schweickart on Market Socialism
Defining institutions of capitalism:
private ownership of the means of production
Market socialism eliminates or greatly restricts private
ownership of the means of production. Instead: some for
Rousseau on Democracy
Key concept = the general will.
Basically, general will = actions/policies that are equally
in everyones interests (the public interest).
Contrast with "the will of all" = the sum of each
individual's "particular will."
Rousseaus State of Nature
Rousseau & Locke: the state of nature a state of war.
But they give different answers as to why.
Locke: b/c people are moved to a significant extent by
an innate knowledge of right and wrong.
Rousseau: (1) b/c savages are solitar
11/16/38 - 1/23/02
like Rawls, spent most of his academic career as a professor at Harvard
Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State and Utopia (1974), his best known book, was the first fulllength challenge to John Rawls' A Theory o
Rawlss Theory of Justice
Rawlss basic ideas:
Society = a fair system of cooperation for mutual gain.
Principles of justice = those principles that free, equal,
and rational beings would choose, under fair
bargaining conditions, to govern the basic structu
A Utilitarian Defense of Property Rights
Key idea = allowing people to acquire and trade
property encourages them to make productive use of
resources, and thus contributes to human happiness.
Utilitarianism = a forward-looking moral theory. Thus
it is les
If some sort of state is justified, what sort? Usual
answer = democracy. Isnt that obvious?
But wait. How should we understand democracy?
Debates within the theory of democracy:
1. B/w the idea of democracy as majority rule, and the
idea of demo
The Obligation to Obey
Lesson of State of Nature stories = it is a good thing
some sort of law-making political authority exists.
Q: Does this mean we have a moral obligation to obey
the law simply because its the law?
Compare: It would be a good thing fo
John Stuart Mill on Liberty (Part Two)
Objection: There are very few self-regarding actions.
So Mills harm principle protects very few actions.
Mills reply: we should distinguish between interests
per se and rights-based interests.
The idea seems to be: I
John Stuart Mill on Liberty (Part One)
Mills Harm Principle: The only purpose for which
power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a
civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm
Restrictions: doesnt apply to children and
Marxs Critique of Individual Rights
Basic idea = having a sense of community is essential to
human well-being (man is a communal being).
What is it to have a sense of community? Marx doesnt
go into detail here, but we might add some detail for
Locke on Property Rights
Recall Locke's state of nature = a condition of equality.
But then where do property rights come from? How do
unowned items from nature become owned?
Call this The Initial Acquisition Puzzle.
Locke's response wholly clear. 4 stran
Hobbes: state of nature is miserable. Purpose of the
state = punish violent aggressors, and so make peace
possible by making mutual trust possible.
John Lockes state of nature is nicer. Ironically, though,
he gives a similar definition: it is a state in w
Ask: Why have any authority at all? Why not
One popular answer = imagine the complete absence of
any political authority; if this leads to great misery, then
that is one reason for having at least some authority.
This was the answer of T
Criticisms of the Free Market
1) It leads to trade cycle of boom and bust.
Many people play no productive role under
Question for 1 and 2: What system performs better?
It leads to alienated labor.
Question: Is this just a consequence of
Negative freedom = the absence of external constraints
imposed by humans (Isaiah Berlin).
So long as there is no law against X or no thug to stop you
from X-ing, you are (negatively) free to X.
Positive freedom = being one's own master; being the
The Principle of Fairness
Basic idea = whether or not you consent, isn't it unfair
of you to enjoy the benefits of life under a state without
shouldering the burdens of maintaining the state?
Non-political examples: buying drinks in a round, car
EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY
A. Formal Equality of Opportunity: careers open to
talents, i.e. employment on basis of qualifications.
Involves limits on the prerogatives of private
ownership (factory owners cant hire only friends,
fellow religionists, etc.)
Agency, Dignity, Value
Observing a strong
impairing a person's capacity
for responsible agency
= observing a strong presumption
against diminishing that person's
= showing due
Justice and the Ethics of Care
Some feminist thinkers charge justice with being a
1. Men value abstraction and separation more than
2. Justice is an ethic of abstraction and separation.
3. Therefore, justice is a gender-biased con
Political Science, Kean University
DR. CHARLES KELLY
Basic Concepts / Theories
The Political System is made of three (3) important parts:
a) The Political Regime
b) The Political Personnel
c) The Political Community
The Regime - is the structure of the in
Anarchists argue that we should stay in the state of
nature, that is, not form a government.
Types: anarcho-capitalists & socialist anarchists
Possible arguments for anarchism:
1. Cooperation will evolve in the state of nature, even
The Constitution Article III
The judicial power shall be in one supreme court
Congress may establish lower courts
All judges hold office during good behavior
Their salaries cannot be lowered
Hear cases dealing with
o The Constitution and laws of united s
Lawrence Chapter 4
Judges decide cases and make public policy by employing legal reasoning to convince us that
they have reached the right decision
Issuing written opinion stating the legal reasons justifying the decision is a judicial norm
This legal jus
Baum Chapter 1
Supreme Court is probably more limited than people believe
The members of the Court are powerful though
The Court in Law and Politics
o It is the highest court in the federal judicial system
o It can hear and decide cases
o It m
a. State of Nature (SON): a constant state of war with every man pitted against every
man; in this state, life is solitary, violent, and brief; the three causes of the war-like
conditions displayed within the SON include: personal desire (ga