Manual Die Theorie der Gerechtigkeit - John Rawls (German Edition)

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By the end of this course you should be able to hold an informed opinion about state's rights and understand the implications of each theory on our judgment of territorial conflicts. You will be expected to attend class regularly, participate in the seminar discussions and to write an essay in order to get credits for the course.

This seminar explores various questions about the metaethical position that is introduced in John L. Mackie's influential book Ethics. Inventing Right and Wrong. We will constrain our discussion to the first, metaethical part of the book.

In that part, Mackie argues for his so called error theory, which is now a serious contender in the contemporary metaethical landscape. According to this theory, moral judgments are beliefs that ascribe moral properties, even though such properties do not exist, and therefore all substantial moral judgements are false. Mackie develops his theory by way of introducing a wide range of topics and arguments concerning semantic, ontological and epistemological issues within the debate about Moral Realism, Naturalism and Non-Cognitivism.

A large part of the seminar will focus on Mackie's own arguments and his discernment of different issues in semantics and ontology. In particular, we will investigate the structure and presuppositions of the error theory and the main arguments for this position.

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In the second part of the course, the focus will be on Mackie's critics: What responses are available for or in fact have been given by Moral Realists, Non-Cognitivists or Relativists? Basic knowledge in metaethics is of importance to participate in the discussion. The reading assignments and the discussion will be in English.

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The main readings will come from Mackie's book. The other readings will be papers by different philosophers.


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The seminars will be based on discussions, so you are required to prepare the texts in order to participate in these discussions. There are two short essays pages : The task is to explain the main argument of a chosen passage from Mackie's book to the readers of your own ficticious or not philosophy blog.

There is, finally, an argumentative essay pages due at the end of the semester 30 January. The topic is of your choosing. The essay must deal argumentatively with a controversy about one of Mackie's arguments or theses. Population Ethics. Population ethics deals with questions like the following: How many people ought there to be? Can we have duties to bring people into existence?

Alexander Paradissis

Under which conditions are we obliged to refrain from reproducing? Can there be overpopulation? Does a person's existence ever constitute a benefit or a harm to her? How should we compare a state in which some people enjoy lives of a very high quality with a state in which considerably more people live great, but slightly worse lives? We will read and discuss selected chapters and passages from the seminal work Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit who in received the prestigious Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy.

First, we will clarify basic concepts, problems and accounts in population ethics. Then, we will focus on possible solutions to three vexing problems of population ethics: the Non-Identity Problem, the Mere Addition Paradox, and the Repugnant Conclusion. Multiculturalism and the challenge of illiberal groups. Kerstin Reibold. Today's societies are increasingly multicultural. This means that the liberal democratic state is increasingly challenged to equally represent, consider, accommodate, and reconcile different ways of living and diverse conceptions of the good in one political system.

In this seminar we will first learn which groups make what kind of claims. We will look at ethnic and religious groups as well as immigrants and their respective calls to be exempted from certain general regulations or their wishes to be granted "special" rights.


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  • We will then analyze whether and how such accommodations can be justified by asking such questions as: Do minority rights increase or threaten the equality of all citizens in a state regardless of their culture and religion? Will minority rights strengthen or disintegrate the state's civil society and citizen's solidarity with each other? Can rights for groups be reconciled with the protection of individual rights guaranteed by the liberal state? We will then focus on how multiculturalism should be put into practice and how a liberal state should deal with demands by illiberal groups that not only contradict liberal principles but also potentially hurt or oppress vulnerable members of such groups.

    We will discuss the merits and disadvantages of laissez-faire, deliberative and legal a priori approaches and their applicability and feasibility for different kinds of illiberal groups and claims. If you have been admitted to this class, please check your ILIAS mailbox regularly as the reading list, the syllabus, and any other information regarding the course will be announced there. You will be expected to have read the assigned readings before the start of the seminar.

    Rawls, A Theory of Justice.


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    A Theory of Justice. Revised Edition. Introductory reading: - Audard, Catherine. John Rawls. Oxford: Routledge Oxford: Oxford University Press In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Winter Edition. Edward N. Further secondary literature selection : - Freeman, Samuel. Fall Edition. The Cambridge Companion to John Rawls. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Eine Theorie der Gerechtigkeit.

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    Berlin: Akademie Verlag London: Continuum Rawls: An Introduction. London: Polity Rawls's A Theory of Justice. An Introduction. New York: Garland Participants will read Shelly Kagan's book Death, which is very accessible even for non-philosophers. Participants should make sure that they have a copy of the book at the beginning of the seminar. The seminar will be in English. Participants can write their paper either in English or in German. This seminar will be devoted to reading and discussing seminal texts that played a crucial defining role in the early history of analytic philosophy, as well as a selection of papers that directly engage those original contributions.

    Seminar sessions will consist of a combination of lecture, student presentations, and discussions. Sitter-Liver ed.

    Georges Enderle

    A critical comparison of three approaches , in: Societas Ethica ed. Freedom must be presupposed as a property of the will of all rational beings with Jacob Rosenthal , in: Ch. Horn, D. Schulte, R.

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    Stollmann ed. Sind wir zur Hilfe verpflichtet? Zur Dialektik von Hilfe und Gerechtigkeit , in: K. Hirsch, K. Seitz ed. Kaplow, Ch. Lienkamp ed.