— Moral Foundations of Politics

                      NandaJoin the discussion after watching the relevant video lectures from a course called Moral Foundations of Politics. The central question that this course tries to answer is: What makes a government legitimate? The course compares the five traditions of political philosophy (Utilitarianism, Marxism, Social Contract Theory, Anti-Enlightenment and Democratic) to do this. In addition to exploring theoretical differences among the five traditions, considerable attention is devoted to the practical implications of their competing arguments.

Group Coordinator: Vivek Nanda (please click this link to contact)

On the third Fridays of each month until July 2022

In-person drink or lunch from 12.30 pm at The Canonbury Tavern, 21 Canonbury Place, London N1 2NS followed by a discussion on Zoom from home at 2.30 pm.

Schedule of Video Lectures for Discussion

17 September 2021 (94 minutes of videos) Eichmann
Welcome to Moral Foundations of Politics!
The Shape of the Course
The Eichmann Case and Problem of Illegal but Legitimate Acts
The Paradox of Discomfort and the Organization of the Course
Politics in the Enlightenment
Early vs. Mature Enlightenments
The Workmanship Ideal

15 October 2021 (99 minutes of videos)Bentham
Elements of Utilitarianism
The Theory of Classical Utilitarianism
The Utility Monster and the Principle of Diminishing Marginal Utility
The Panopticon and Bentham Government
Distribution and Diminishing Marginal Utility
Bentham Equality and Rights
Neoclassical Utilitarianism: The Philosophical Context Beginning

19 November 2021 (109 minutes of videos)Mill
Neoclassical Utilitarianism: The Economic Context
Ideological Stakes of the Transition from Classical to Neoclassical Utilitarianism
Introduction and the Harm Principle
Bentham, Mill, and The Rights-Utility Synthesis
The Harm Principle in Practice
The Harm Principle and the Spectrum of Harm
Harm Examples
Is the Harm Principle Conservative?

17 December 2021 (69 minutes of videos)Marx
Marx Introduction
Marx as an Enlightenment Thinker
Marx's Challenge to Classical Political Economy
The Working Class
Exploitation- The Micro Story

21 January 2022 (75 minutes of videos)Marx+Engels
Exploitation- The Macro Story and the Theory of Crisis
Marx's Overall Failures
Failures in the Macro Theory
Rethinking the Labor Theory of Value

18 February 2022 (80 minutes of videos)Locke
Consent and Thomas Hobbes
John Locke and the Workmanship Ideal
Locke Consent
Immanuel Kant's Ethics
John Rawls Introduction
John Rawls's Enduring Innovations

18 March 2022 (95 minutes of videos)Rawls
The Veil of Ignorance
Principles of Justice
The Difference Principle
Problems with Rawls
Political Not Metaphysical
Political Disagreement
The Overlapping Consensus

15 April 2022 (111 minutes of videos)Nozick
Introduction to Nozick
Features of Nozick's Account
The Invisible Hand Evolution of the State
Necessity and Obligation
Incorporating Independents
Liberty Upsets Patterns
Markets and Power
It is Unjust for Chamberlain to Make So Much Money

20 May 2022 (108 minutes of videos)Burke

Burke's Conservatism
Devlin's Conservatism
Introduction to MacIntyre
Emotivist Culture
Failure of the Enlightenment Project
Concluding Anti-Enlightenment Thought

17 June 2022 (82 minutes of videos)Habermas

Democracy and its Critics
The Federalist Papers
The Republican Tradition
Discovering the General Will
Habermas' Deliberative Ideal
Deliberation in the Real World

15 July 2022 (76 minutes of videos)Electoral Systems

The Westminster System in Practice
The Majority Rule
Competition and Democracy
Electoral Systems
Reviewing the Enlightenment
Democracy and Human Freedom

Previous Discussions Looking for Second Life

Power and Politics in Today's World
iU3A Power and Politics Taster Programme 2021

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