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Moral Foundations of Politics

Yale University via Coursera

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  • Provider Coursera
  • Subject Political Science
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session In progress
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 12-15 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 8 weeks long

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Overview

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When do governments deserve our allegiance, and when should they be denied it?

This course explores the main answers that have been given to this question in the modern West. We start with a survey of the major political theories of the Enlightenment: Utilitarianism, Marxism, and the social contract tradition. In each case, we begin with a look at classical formulations, locating them in historical context, but then shift to the contemporary debates as they relate to politics today.

Next, we turn to the rejection of Enlightenment political thinking, again exploring both classical and contemporary formulations. The last part of the course deals with the nature of, and justifications for, democratic politics, and their relations to Enlightenment and Anti-Enlightenment political thinking.

In addition to exploring theoretical differences among the various authors discussed, considerable attention is devoted to the practical implications of their competing arguments. To this end, we discuss a variety of concrete problems, including debates about economic inequality, affirmative action and the distribution of health care, the limits of state power in the regulation of speech and religion, and difficulties raised by the emerging threat of global environmental decay.

Taught by

Ian Shapiro

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Reviews for Coursera's Moral Foundations of Politics
4.4 Based on 13 reviews

  • 5 stars 54%
  • 4 stars 31%
  • 3 stars 15%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

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  • 1
Miguel T
4.0 3 years ago
by Miguel is taking this course right now, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Really interesting course mostly about Political Philosophy but that inevitable reaches economy, Ethics, Justice and other areas of Philosophy. I would really recommend it for all interested in a broad introduction to the basis of Political Sciences, Economics or Philosophy. The cases and examples Prof. Shapiro brings are almost always interesting and challenging and it really fascinated me to find how much philosophical history and debate there is behind seemingly simple things and mainstream ideas. I is also helpful for everyone trying to figure out their own political group. Is really goes …
7 people found
this review helpful
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Dave R
5.0 a year ago
by Dave completed this course, spending 7 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
A very useful introduction to political philosophy that goes through a number of traditions from (and against) the Enlightenment and ending with democracy. It focuses on the traditions, the rationale behind them and the problems with them. The delivery of the material is a little one dimensional, but the basic information is there and there is the opportunity to read further if you wish.
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Anonymous
5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Engaging and fascinating course touching on history, political philosophy and economics. A good introduction to these challenging topics and a rewarding experience.
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Diego R
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